Students share their thoughts about the annual flu shot while looking at how this year’s round of flu vaccines relates to the COVID-19 vaccine debate and rollout.
With the fall season in full swing, flu shots have become a priority in people’s calendars for the season. With students and faculty getting the annual shot, the student body has given their thoughts on the flu shot during a global pandemic.
For many students, the annual flu shot is a part of fall that they prefer to get done as soon as possible so the risk of getting sick decreases dramatically during the beginning of flu season.
“I just wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible,” sophomore Matt Glazier said. “I am really busy with school and other responsibilities and getting sick would just mess up my whole schedule.”
However, a busy schedule could be a problem for Drake students as some have said the main reason that they have not received the vaccine yet is a general lack of time.
“I have not gotten my flu shot yet,” senior Anna Sutterer said. “I have just been busy and it slips my mind. However, I have never not gotten the flu shot, so I am planning on getting it because it is important [to prevent] I or anyone I know [from getting] sick in the winter months.”
While the flu shot has been a normal activity for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and the current debate of the safety of the COVID vaccines have students sharing their thoughts on how these topics tie into the flu shot.
“Living in a world that has been shut down due to COVID should make people want to get the flu vaccine to prevent further sickness,” Sutterer said. “I think it is so important that everyone that is able to get both should as soon as possible.”
Some students have viewed the COVID vaccine debate as a way for people to become more skeptical about the flu shot.
“I think that now that there are large groups of people against the COVID vaccine, more people with that thought process may begin to think that the flu shot is unsafe as well,” sophomore Chloe Fox said.
However, others feel as if the flu shot is differentiated enough from the debate over the COVID vaccine to the point where people will continue to get the flu shot regardless of their opinion of COVID vaccines.
“I think people generally get the flu vaccines to make sure they don’t get sick,” senior Alex Reznicek said. “Usually, people are not as mindful of contracting or giving the flu than with COVID because the virus is still relatively new and still poses a great danger of transmission.”
Students have expressed that even though the COVID vaccine gets major attention at the moment, the flu shot should still be on the minds of people everywhere, especially with flu season approaching.
“Overall, I see the COVID vaccine as more vital to public health at this time,” senior Will Krane said. “However, I believe [people] should still get both to protect themselves and their loved ones. While I am not a doctor, I see the value [of] both vaccines for the well-being of global health.”