Beat the bug

Birkam Health Center offers flu shots to students

Graphic by: Jordan Lodge | Production Manager

The flu can spread quickly around campus but steps can be taken to help you stay healthy. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, over 3 million people in America catch the flu every year. One of the best preventative measures is to get a flu vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by 40 to 60 percent. 

“Immunizations are the safest and most effective way to protect our communities from vaccine-preventable diseases,” Director of Health Services at Birkam Health Center Lindsay Barber said. “College life exposes students to more people, especially when living in residence halls or a large student community. Close living conditions increase potential spreading of these diseases quicker than areas not on a college campus.” 

For students who have paid their health center fee, the Birkam Health Center offers flu shots and will bill their insurance. They also offer flu shots for $25 for students without insurance. These services are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

“It is very easy to get sick as a college student. You’ve got a lot of things working against you. Close living conditions spread germs faster. High academic and social demands can cause stress on your body and make you more susceptible to illness,” Barber said. “Make sure you’re taking care of yourself—eat a well-balanced diet and make sure to drink enough water, get enough sleep and do your best to avoid stress.” 

Regular hand washing is also an important step to prevent contracting the flu. 

“I think vaccinations are important because some people do get sick and they don’t have good hygiene,” Ferris pre-pharmacy junior John Nguyen said. “It’s important because you see all these people every day and you don’t know what they do. Touching their germs could get you sick.” 

Despite the risks, some Ferris students feel that they don’t need the flu vaccine. 

“I have not gotten my flu vaccines. I don’t think I have in the past 10 years,” Ferris welding engineering junior Jacob Stidwill said. “I don’t believe that they’re 100 percent necessary. On campus, I guess they’re beneficial because if someone really does need it then sure but I probably won’t get it.”