Junior Morgan Hasegawa is a physiology major at Seattle Pacific. He’s studying to become a doctor and encourages everyone to get a flu shot.
But that doesn’t mean he’s about to schedule an appointment for one.
“I haven’t gotten the shot yet and don’t plan to,” Hasegawa said. “Call it stubborn arrogance. I never get sick.”
Jean Brown is the director of SPU Health Services. She said most people who come in to the school’s Health Center this time of year are there to get their flu shot.
“We usually have multiple shipments of the shot before the end of September,” Brown said.
In August, the center ordered 100 doses of the vaccine and then 100 more in September. The center was temporarily out of the shot for a week and a half until they received 200 more doses on Friday.
Brown said it’s best to get the shot between the middle of October to the middle of November. She said the vaccine protects people from the flu for one year. Brown has worked in the Health Center for 31 years and has never seen anyone develop a severe reaction to the vaccine.
Students who have health insurance through the school can get the flu shot at the health center for free. For everyone else, it’s $25.
The flu season in Seattle usually lasts from late November to May. According to the Center for Disease Control, the flu is most often contracted from someone else coughing or sneezing.
Flu symptoms typically include fever and chills, sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, cough, and fatigue.
Anyone can get the flu, but children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. People with a weak immune system and heart, lung and kidney problems are also more vulnerable. Brown said students who live in dorms or other buildings with a lot of people are more likely to contract the flu.
“When you use the same books, buildings, food service and [live] in such a small community, you’re going to contract it much faster,” she said. “Off-campus [students] don’t have that close of proximity to their fellow classmates.”
Even if Hasegawa doesn’t plan to get the flu shot, other students said they want to be protected.
“I haven’t gotten the shot yet, but I plan to in December,” sophomore Amanda Holbrook said. “I’m a type one diabetic so I’m more susceptible to [the flu].”