Feature

Free vaccine helps provide protection against the flu

Vaccines, including the flu shot, are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and MercyCare Prairie Creek is offering free flu shots to Kirkwood Community College students.

Sophie Joly, professor of Microbiology at Kirkwood Community College said, “Influenza viruses are rather contagious, spreading fast throughout the population especially in our dense modern communities.” 

Vaccinations function primarily by exposing the body to the germ in different pieces create the antibodies necessary to fight the infection.

Joly explained, “The idea is to train the body to fight the disease without causing the symptoms. Once in your body, these pieces are going to trigger an immune response that lingers in your body as a memory. Once exposed to the real threat, your body is already prepared to fight and does it quickly and efficiently.”

The flu, by the estimates of the CDC’s website, affects between 9.3 million and 49 million people each year. The site claims vaccinations are the primary preventative measure when it comes to the flu.

The choice to vaccinate however is one that does not only affect the person getting the vaccination but also those who cannot be vaccinated. 

The idea of herd immunity, defined by Joly is “Herd immunity in a population is when a large number of people are immune to an infection and therefore it provides protection to the members that are not protected simply by decreasing their exposure to the infectious organism.”

The risks versus the benefits of the vaccination are in the end up to each individual person that will or will not receive the shot.

Free Flu Shots

Students can receive a free flu shot during normal business
hours, Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday, 8 – 11 a.m.

MercyCare Prairie Creek is located across from campus, just east of The Hotel at Kirkwood Center at 777 76th Avenue Drive SW.

Kirkwood covers the cost of the initial nurse visit. Log on to https://www.kirkwood.edu/studenthealth for additional information.

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