Dear Hurricane,
My friends and I have seen posters on campus for free flu shots. I also have a professor encouraging my entire class to get flu shots. I thought only grandmothers got flu shots. I’m a young, good-looking and healthy college student. I didn’t think I was old enough to get a flu shot or that I should even worry about the flu. Also, don’t flu shots made you sick?

Healthy in Hecht

Dear Healthy,
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, anyone older than six months is eligible to receive a flu shot. However, you will find many grandmothers waiting in lines for the vaccination. Senior citizens, as well as people with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or immune system disorders are at high risk for influenza-related complications and strongly advised by their physician to receive a flu shot.
As for college students, it is just good sense to get a shot; hence, your professors encouragement. Once exposed to the flu virus, whether in class, a student organization meeting, residence halls/apartment or walking through the UC, a student becomes susceptible to becoming sick.
One to two weeks of fever, aches, chills, headaches, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, etc. is enough to potentially throw off anyone’s grades by making one miss classes and possibly miss exams. Sometimes the flu can develop into something more serious, such as pneumonia. Therefore, flu shots provide peace of mind, as well as protection against flu.
Years ago, flu shots were made of flu serum. Providers gave a small amount of the virus, causing a mild form of the flu and resulting in immunity. Those sensitive to the virus may have experienced some symptoms of the flu. The modern, injectable vaccination does not contain any live flu virus. The vaccination is cultivated inside of eggs; therefore, individuals with allergies to eggs or chicken may have a serious reaction from a flu shot. Sometimes individuals experience arm soreness or even a little swelling, but it should not interfere with normal activities.
The Student Health Center’s Annual Flu Shot Road Show is free for students ($1 United Way donation is suggested) and accessible throughout campus. The Student Health Center organized clinics in various locations on campus. Students are welcomed at any clinic, regardless of the location. Thus, a clinic held in the Mahoney/Pearson classrooms is actually open to any student, not just residents of Mahoney or Pearson Residential Colleges.
Flu shots also are available in the Student Health Center throughout the semester. The remaining dates of the road show are as follows, and additional dates may be added if requested:

Monday, Oct. 13
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 15
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 16
Wellness Center-Atrium
5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29
Wellness Expo/Wellness Atrium
5 to 7 p.m.

For more information on flu shots, visit the Student Health Center’s flu shot web page at and click on the “Flu Season” link.

Sisy Noal

Sisy Noal is a sophomore majoring in biology. She works part-time in the Student Health Center.

To submit a question or concern that you would like Hurricane Health Watch to solve, please email

October 10, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.