Even though fall just began, winter is quickly approaching. The arrival of winter brings a lot of different things: Christmas, snow, cold weather, and the flu.

The flu becomes common with the winter weather and can be avoided if you take the right precautions.  If you don’t want to go through the whole germaphobic approach to it, you can just get a flu shot.

Flu shots are highly recommended for children and the elderly but that doesn’t mean anybody in between shouldn’t get the shot.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention website, the flu shot is the best way to protect against the virus if you are vaccinated every year.

Flu vaccinations begin in September and continue through flu season, which ends around February.

There are two different types of the flu vaccine. First, there is the flu shot. The shot is almost always given in the arm. It is an inactivated vaccine that contains three influenza viruses: H3N3, H1N1 (swine flu), and one B virus. 
The other type is a nasal spray vaccine The “Mist,” contains live flu viruses but does not cause the flu.

Side effects from both can appear like minor symptoms of a cold.

Both vaccines are effective but neither is 100 percent effective. Even if you do get the vaccine, there is a chance you can get the flu.

Flu shots will be available on campus Oct. 25 and 26 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in Pounds Lounge. The cost is $15.
The Cowley County Health Department will be hosting a drive-through clinic Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fairgrounds on 14th street. The clinic is $20. Vaccinations are also available through the Dillon’s Pharmacy for $25.

Shayne Hummer is a freshman majoring in communication. You can e-mail him at shayne.hummer@sckans.edu.

 Lea Shores contributed to this story. You may e-mail her at lea.shores@sckans.edu.