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Flu shot

Emily Anderson takes her flu shot like a pro.

Emily Anderson takes her flu shot like a pro.

By Audrey Sparks

The entire process took less than five minutes. Emily Anderson, a Waldorf Senior pursuing a business major, didn’t even grimace as Ruth Merchant, a public health nurse with a BSN degree, gave her a shot of pretty pink fluid. It’s flu season and the Waldorf Atrium hosted a flu shot clinic for all students, faculty and community members.

Although the day had begun slow; only three faculty, three children and one student had stopped at the clinic, the staff were sure that more would come through. One factor they felt was affecting the turn out was the cost. “$25 is $25,” said Barb Wolf, a public health nurse and RN. Insurance was being accepted to help cover the cost but for many students they weren’t sure if their insurance would cover it.

Anderson has been taking advantage of the clinic since she began her studies at Waldorf. “Before I came here I was busy and never got around to it. It’s nice having the convenience of it being right here in the atrium,” Anderson said.

Why should a person consider getting the vaccination? According to an information sheet, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was handed out during the clinic, “each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized.”

The flu can be spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact. In a college atmosphere, all of these factors are a much higher probability. The flu vaccine helps prevent the spreading of flu from person to person. “This flu shot is actually for respiratory. It’s not for the vomiting type of flu, so if you get the upper respiratory type of flu you will most likely develop pneumonia and end up in the hospital,” Merchant said.

Dean Swenson, Waldorf gallery director and art teacher, also participated in the flu shot clinic. He’s been receivingĀ a flu shot for many years and chooses to do so just so that he doesn’t get the flu. When asked what he thought about others who may choose not to get a flu shot, “That’s there choice,” Swenson said. He didn’t have the belief that by getting a flu shot you would get sick and said he had never gotten sick after receiving a flu shot.

If you missed the clinic you can still get your flu shot. The Winnebago County Public Health department is located at 216 S. Forth St., Forest City. No appointment is necessary and they are available Monday-Friday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.. The clinic phone number is 641-585-4763. The cost is $25 and can be billed directly to insurance at the clinic.