This item originally appeared in the November 4, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By LYDIA EARHART
The only thing worse than a 101-degree fever and feeling like road kill is knowing that it could have been prevented had there been enough flu shots available at Tech.
"Every year we order 200 flu shots, and that is usually how many students come in and get the shot," Page Pickett, a registered nurse at the Student Health Center, said.
Pickett said the flu shots are only for Tech students at high-risk health levels.
High-risk students are considered students who have a chronic illness and women who are pregnant.
"We have already given out 50 shots to students who are at high risk," Pickett said.
Pickett said the Student Health Center was informed by College Health Services to turn away students who are not at a high risk.
Pickett said there is often a reaction or low-grade fever caused by the flu shot.
There are three types of the flu viruses: A, B and C.
The symptoms of influenza A and B are a fever, chills, weakness, muscle aches and fatigue.
The symptoms of influenza C are watery eyes, sore throat, cough, congestion and headache.
Pickett said there is no other place to refer other students who are not high risk, but still wish to take the flu shot.
"I pre-ordered the shots from Aventis Pasteus in January of last year," Pickett said.
"If the students who are high risk don't get the flu shot, it is because they did not come in."
Kacee Watley, a sophomore marine biology major, received the flu shot a couple of years ago.
"I only took the shot because my mom made me take it," Watley said. "I hate shots."
Watley said taking the flu shot hurt and was not worth the pain.
"I took the flu shot, but I don't think it helped prevent the flu at all," Watley said.
"I got the flu after I got the shot because this girl came to school with it. She was coughing and sneezing and she sat right in front of me," Watley said.
Avery Hooker, a senior medical technology major, does not think he needs a flu shot.
"I build up natural immunities against the flu," Hooker said.
Hooker said he has never taken the flu shot and does not plan on starting right now because of the shortage.