By: C.A. PRINTUP
The flu season is upon us and IU South Bend is feeling the fever. Walking down a hall, one may notice an increased number of “class is cancelled” signs posted.
Avoiding cancelling class is simple though, according to the IU South Bend Health and Services Nurse Practitioner Teresa Dobrzykowski. According to her, students and faculty should “get the flu vaccine.”
“Vaccines work by ‘fooling’ your body into thinking that it has been invaded by the actual disease or infection, causing an inflammatory, or immune, response to occur,” Dobrzykowski said.
“Your body makes ‘memory cells’ to help it recognize the potential threat of another invasion by the same infection or disease at a later date. That is called ‘immunity,’” she continued.
The flu virus mutates and changes often, so yearly vaccinations are encouraged. The Center for Disease Control recommends a yearly shot as its most important step in defense against the virus,” according to Dobrzykowski.
Many people draw up reluctance to get the flu shot due to the fact that it is near impossible to get a 100% effective flu shot that is reliable against all strains of the flu.
Dobzykowski responded to this by saying, “Part of the challenge of developing a ‘100% accurate’ vaccine has to deal with the fast- mutation of the virus, it’s many strains and the amount of ‘lead time’ from virus strain/ vaccination decision to actual targeted flu season.”
“ Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggest will be most common. Three -component vaccines contain an H3N2, an H1N and a B virus. Four component vaccines have an additional B virus component, which increases the effectiveness of the vaccine,” she said.
The drive for developing more accurate vaccines helps protect infants, pregnant women, the elderly and those who have immune system challenges.
According to Dobrzykowski, the Health and Wellness Center offers the four-component vaccine. Students can get the flu shot for $25.
Students and community members can get the flu shot at the Health and Wellness Center, at Vera Z. Dwyer Hall.
Walk-ins are from Nov. 12, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m, Nov. 13, 8 a.m. to noon, and Nov. 14, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. If different accommodations are needed, contact the Health and Wellness Center at (574)-520-5557.