It’s the time of year to get a flu shot

As the flu season approaches, SAIT’s clinic started preparing flu vaccines for students free of charge as of October 21.

“SAIT health services will be offering flu vaccines starting from Oct. 21,” Dr. Beavan Talukdar said in an interview.

Talukdar, who is a part of SAIT health services, urged students to get their flu vaccines for this year.

“Flu vaccines are free for all individuals because it is a matter of public health,” said Talukdar, adding “there will be free vaccines available at local pharmacies.”

According to Eastern Health, the flu vaccine protects against four strains of the virus, including H1N1 influenza (swine flu).

“The trends of the virus slowly changes over time. The vaccines are adapted to that,” said Talukdar.

Based on the advice from the World Health Organization, which monitors virus strains that are in circulation, a vaccine is formulated each year to protect against the strains expected to cause the most illness.

Isabel Eiscoi, a health information student at SAIT, had to get a mandatory vaccine last year because she was in the health department studies.

Isabel Eiscoi, a health information student at SAIT shares her thoughts on the flu vaccine. (Photo by Maiya Ahmed/The Press)

“I don’t have to take a vaccine this year because of the mandatory vaccine we got last year,” said Eiscoi. “But, I do agree that people should get vaccines every year.”

The flu is mainly an influenza virus, typically type A and B. It is most commonly spread by fomites (bacteria) that are essentially spread through the sharing drinks, toothbrushes and potentially contaminated surfaces.

Medications such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen help with aches and keeping the fever in control. – Dr. Beavan Talukdar

Common symptoms of flu are muscle pain, fatigue, runny nose, and cough. If symptoms persist seek professional medical help.

“Medications such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen help with aches and keeping the fever in control,” said Talukdar. “Good hydration is also key.”

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are medications typically used to treat pain or fever. They can be found in over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol.

In some rare cases, the flu vaccine can lead to complications for high-risk individuals such as people over the age of 50, and people with a chronic illness or lung diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, and pneumonia.