With regular flu season approaching and COVID-19 cases rising new vaccines are going to be available for students on campus.
Student Health Services has influenza vaccines available now. The cost will be billed to students’ insurance — there will be no out-of-pocket costs to students. COVID-19 vaccines, meanwhile, should be available in two weeks. CVS, Walgreens and HyVee pharmacies already have new vaccines.
Students can receive shots from 12-3 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Shots are available by appointment (call 651-304-6145), but walk-ins are also welcome.
“I would say that most people are recommended to get that especially if you have asthma, preexisting conditions that would be immunocompromised type of things,” said Moore.
Pharmacist-in-Charge Melanie Moore said COVID-19 and influenza symptoms are alike, making it difficult to determine why an individual feels sick.
“COVID-19 and influenza symptoms really overlap each other,” said Moore. “The loss of taste and smell is kind of the big one that will tell that you’re probably dealing with COVID-19. In reality, testing is your best way of telling whether this is COVID-19 or influenza.”
Director of Student Health Services Antonia Yenser talked about COVID-19 during the Student Government meeting on Sept. 27.
Moore said COVID-19 is more contagious, has a risk for long-term issues and is spreading quicker than a regular flu.
“And the difficult thing too is with COVID-19,” said Moore. “When you’re exposed, you don’t necessarily show symptoms. So you can get an exposure and actually start getting sick for two to 14 days. Influenza, I found that you’re normally going to start showing symptoms within one to four days.”
Alcohol/Drug Sanction Education Coordinator and Case Manager Natalie Schuette said that, in the case of COVID-19-infected students, the pharmacy on campus can help ease symptoms.
“We don’t have the quarantine and isolation spaces in the residence halls anymore,” said Schuette. “But in the pharmacy that we do have, there are medicines that we can use to help with the symptoms.”
“The pharmacy has over-the-counter medications that can help ease the symptoms, fever, cough, cold congestion,” said Moore. “Depending on the severity of the infection, there are antivirals that can be started to protect somebody that’s severely ill.”
In case there are symptoms of sickness, students can reach out to Student Health Services and get free tests for COVID-19.
“If students have questions, they can always call the medical clinic and ask a nurse and find out whether they should be seen or this is something they can treat on their own with over-the-counter medication,” said Schuette.
Header photo: The Student Health Services has influenza vaccines available now, people can receive shots in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom from 12-3 p.m.. (Nathanael Tilahun/The Reporter)
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