Around Winchester

The COLD Truth on the Flu

By: Tanner Zyontz

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu season officially begins October 1, 2019, and goes until the end of March, 2020. Last year saw 42.9 million reported flu cases, and 61,400 flu related deaths.


Most health insurance plans offer the flu vaccine at no cost to the customer if the vaccine is administered at a participating location. Mainstream pharmacies such as Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and CVS offer this service, and also provide perks such as discounts if you get your flu shot with them.


The CDC states that those who live in close quarters with others such as college age students are at a greater risk for these types of illnesses because of the amount of public surfaces that they come into contact with each day.


While the flu shot does not guarantee immunity from the flu, it greatly decreases the likelihood that you will contract the virus. Since the strains of flu are constantly evolving, the vaccine can also help you recover more quickly if you do get the flu.


The question remains, why pay for your flu shot on campus, if you can get it for free somewhere else?


When students enroll at Shenandoah University, they are required to provide proof of health insurance, whether under their parents, or through the school. In fact, the United States Department of Health and Human Services states that under the Affordable Care Act, the flu shot must be covered by insurance, without any copayment, or coinsurance. The only stipulation is that some insurance plans may limit this to certain locations, or your primary care doctor.


The flu shot is available on campus for $25 at the Wilkins’ Wellness Center, but why pay if you can get it for free at a local pharmacy?


With all of the other fees associated with tuition and miscellaneous expenses, is it too much to ask for free vaccinations? The wellness center promotes safe sexual activity by providing free condoms, should this be the same with flu shots?

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