Don’t fear the needle

Meg Elwood

Flu season is among us, Georgia Southern, luckily we can stop a flu-zombie apocalypse from happening on our campus by getting a little prick in the arm.

The Health Services clinic on campus is currently recommending and offering flu, meningitis, human papilloma virus”HPV” and hepatitis A vaccines to students. While these illnesses are not as serious as those covered by the required vaccines we each had the enjoyment of getting before enrolling, like tetanus and measles, it is still no fun to be in bed for days on end with the flu… just think of that mountain of makeup work.

“I have had the flu twice since childhood. I was so sick both times that I was literally in the bed and incapacitated for 10 days both times. So much so in med school that my roommates called my mom to come and check on me! I have gotten the flu shot every year, without fail, since then with no ill-effects, and if necessary I would take the flu shot every day of my life to keep from getting that sick again,” said Dr. Brian DeLoach, medical director of Health Services.

Dr. DeLoach describes the importance of being vaccinated in that, “you are not only protecting yourself, but you are also protecting your loved ones, your coworkers, and your community through what is referred to as “herd immunity.”

Many turn their stuffy and runny noses to the idea of vaccines because of the needle or that the vaccine makes one sick. Dr. DeLoach and his staff sooth these worries through a process they call “myth-busting”.

“We try to educate the patient on vaccine safety using solid evidence-based data, and we try to make sure the patient understands the importance of vaccination to both them personally and from a Public Health perspective,” said DeLoach.

DeLoach mentions that if you do get sick after the vaccination, chances are you actually contracted the virus before being vaccinated or in the time span before your body is shielded by the vaccine.

And what about those pointy vials of terror? There is no need to fear in the care of Southern’s Health clinic.

“With regards to needle phobia, we have several techniques in order to make the patient feel more at ease. Needle phobia is a real and legitimate issue, and we try to be sensitive to that concern,” said DeLoach.

The cost for a vaccine while uninsured is $10. If insured the clinic will file your insurance and you will be responsible for any outstanding balance. Walk-in’s are welcome Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.