Story by Ryann Kieu / Contributing Writer
Middle Tennessee State University is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Health and the MTSU School of Nursing to offer free flu shots to students in the month of October.
MTSU Health Services announced that they were given a grant from the health department through emails and social media. Students receiving the free vaccine are not required to make an appointment to any of the seven days or times. The typical flu shot is being offered, along with the FluMist nasal spray.
Because these events are also co-sponsored by the MTSU School of Nursing, many nursing students are being given the opportunity to practice what they are learning. This is very beneficial to some, as they have lost many chances to practice their learning hands-on because of COVID-19.
“Due to covid, we’ve had to make adjustments in our programs like splitting our class size in half and having some online lectures, but other than that our professors have worked really hard to make our classes as normal as possible. We are even still able to participate in off campus clinicals,” said MTSU nursing student Meredith Owens.
As flu season approaches, the differentiation of symptoms between the flu and COVID-19 may start to blur. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most apparent similarities between the flu and COVID-19 is how it spreads. Both viruses are airborne and can spread between two people that are close together, which is defined as six feet apart.
While they can vary in severity in both viruses, some of the similarities in symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting, but this is more common in children than in adults
Because these symptoms can be seen with both viruses, it is hard to self-diagnose. Testing can be received for each virus. In some cases, you can have both viruses at the same time. This is why so many are urged to get tested.
Some differences in COVID-19 and the flu are its appearance times, virus strains and ability to go away with a drug.
COVID-19 symptoms generally appear within two to 14 days, while the flu generally appears one to four days later. COVID-19 appears to spread more easily and be more contagious than the flu.
A very big difference in COVID-19 and the flu is their antiviral drugs. The flu has a vaccine that can be given annually to prevent your chances of getting the virus. It can also make the flu less severe and life-threatening. At this point, COVID-19 does not have an antiviral drug or vaccine.
These events offer convenience to students who do not have enough time or money to go get a flu shot.
“I think many more students are getting the shot. It’s on campus which makes the shot easily accessible. The shot is being given for free, you even get a free mask and sticker. There weren’t any long lines to wait in,” said Meredith Owens.
Many worry that the cases of people have the flu and COVID-19 will skyrocket. They emphasize the importance of getting a flu shot this season.
According to Health Promotion Director Lisa Schrader, “public health experts are pushing the importance of getting a flu vaccine to try to further reduce the chances of our hospitals being overrun by sick patients.”
Below are the upcoming dates and locations of when and where you can go to receive a free flu shot:
- Thursday, Oct 8, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the BAS s326/Suntrust Room
- Tuesday, Oct. 13, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Todd Art Gallery
- Wednesday, Oct. 14, 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.n. at the Academic Classroom Building Lobby
- Wednesday, Oct. 21, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the College of Education 160
- Thursday, Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m. – 4;00 p.m. at the walker Library 1st Floor
- Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the BRAGG Lobby
- Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Academic Classroom Building Lobby
For more information, call 615-494-8704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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