NORFOLK, Neb. – With news of the importance of getting a flu shot this year as the world continues to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual scheduling of immunizations at Northeast Community College has taken on added meaning this fall.
Several employees and students lined up outside a classroom in the J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing on the College’s Norfolk campus recently where Northeast nursing students were prepared to give each of them their annual flu vaccination.
“Influenza is a serious disease of the nose, throat, and lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year approximately 114,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die because of the flu,” said Dr. Karen Weidner, director of nursing and interim dean of health and wellness at Northeast. “Flu symptoms can disrupt your work, school and social life for up to two weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months and older should receive the yearly flu vaccine.”
Influenza symptoms include fever, headaches, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, extreme fatigue and body aches.
Weidner said many people avoid getting a flu shot each year because misinformation steers them away from the preventative vaccine. This includes believing that the vaccine is only necessary for the elderly and very young, they can still catch the flu even if they get the vaccine, and that they can get the flu from a flu shot.
“The flu vaccine is for anyone who does not want to be sick with the flu or inadvertently spread the virus to others,” she said. “The vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the flu by approximately 50% to 60%. Also, a flu shot will not give you the flu. The viral strains in injectable influenza vaccine have been inactivated, making it biologically unable to cause illness.”
Several first-year nursing students participated in dispensing the flu vaccine to Northeast students, faculty and staff, 19-years of age and older. Over 140 flu vaccinations and 21 other immunizations were administered over a two-day period. Northeast partnered with Midtown Health Center in Norfolk to provide the vaccinations.
“Getting a flu shot protects you, your family, and your friends from the flu and can also prevent severe illness and even death,” Weidner said.”
“It didn’t hurt a bit”
Pam Saalfeld, director of the Center of Global Engagement at Northeast Community College, (left) receives a flu shot from Erin Buetler, Bancroft, a licensed practical nursing student at Northeast. Saalfeld was among a number of Northeast employees and students to receive the flu vaccine recently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months and older should receive the yearly flu vaccine, especially this year as the world continues to battle the Coronavirus pandemic.