With the beginning of fall, it is important to remember that flu season is approaching. This year, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever due to the dual impacts of both the flu as well as COVID-19.
Since the flu and COVID-19 share similar symptoms, such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle pain, it is initially difficult to discern the difference between the two. The best thing to do is to get a flu vaccine, in order to decrease the chances that the illness could be the flu. Although the vaccine does not completely eliminate the chances of contracting the flu, it lowers the odds significantly. Not to mention the flu itself has its own effects; those who get the flu generally recover in less than two weeks, but the symptoms make the experience extremely unpleasant. It’s for your own good!
It is likely that if students at the University of Connecticut report these symptoms, or any others that could be attributed to COVID-19, they will be put in isolation, and rightfully so from a public health and safety standpoint. Therefore, in order to reduce the chances of this happening, and to ensure that there are enough isolation beds, the best, easiest and most responsible thing to do is to get a flu vaccine.
At UConn, there are 245 total isolation beds. Similar to the case of a hospital or other health care facilities — wherein the goal is to not overwhelm the facilities — getting a flu vaccine would help ensure that these beds are left for those who actually test positive for COVID-19. With the goal of making it until the end of November in mind, this is one of the simplest ways to help ensure that students stay on campus.
UConn Student Health and Wellness – Medical Care (SHaW-MC) is currently providing flu vaccine clinics in the Student Union Ballroom. These clinics will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. today, Oct. 5 and Oct. 8. There are also off-campus options available; in order to find these options easily, the CDC has created a website so that anyone in the U.S. can put in their location and find a place that administers the flu vaccine nearby.
It is immensely important for everyone to get the flu vaccine in order to protect themselves as well as the people around them. In addition to practicing the current precautions, such as wearing a mask, it is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu on campus.