Students looking to stay healthy this season by getting their flu shot can make an appointment with the ETSU Student Health Center.

The flu is a contagious disease which causes symptoms such as sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, coughing, headaches, runny noses and fever to individuals every year.

“We encourage students and others to feel free to make an appointment to receive their influenza vaccine in order to stay up-to-date and healthy,” said Roslyn Robinson, executive director of the ETSU Student Health Clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu shot to individuals to fight against a new strain of the flu that develops every year.

“We give a CDC vaccine sheet to every student which provides information about vaccinations,” center manager Pamela Williams said. “Everything we do is current with the CDC guidelines and recommendations.”

The flu vaccine is available to all staff and students at a flat fee of $25 a shot.

Patients calling to make an appointment will be asked a set of questions, one of those being who their insurance provider is so that the Student Health Center can let them know if the provider is considered out of network.

Insured patients will have their insurance filed and pay according to what their coverage allows.

An outdated concern about flu shots is that recipients will contract the flu from the vaccine itself, but Williams and Robinson say this is a myth.

“The only risks listed under the flu shot are mild — soreness, headache, fever and so on — so the best recommendation would be to take whatever you would normally take for fevers,” Williams said. “It’s completely OK to go to class or work after you get your shot, and it’s actually best to work your arm afterwards.”

Individuals allergic to eggs or with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome should not receive a shot or should check with their healthcare provider before setting up an appointment.

It is also recommended that patients postpone their vaccination if they are struck with illness during the time of their scheduled appointment. Don’t get the shot if you are dealing with any other sickness, including the flu.

“If you are living with someone else in close quarters who is sick, you can wear a mask—which we have available here to give out,” Robinson said.

Robinson added that it is important to clean and disinfect areas, and make sure to cough or sneeze into tissues or elbows in order to prevent the spreading of germs.