• Emily Johnson

Flu vaccines available at CHS in upcoming weeks

Flu season is here, and flu shots are available for free to the students of Cairo High School. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to get vaccinated.

The Health Department will have forms printed off for students to complete before October 25, when both students and faculty will receive their flu shots. Students should sign up with their first block teachers to receive the forms.

Although receiving a shot can be a little uncomfortable and unpleasant, it helps prevent a common virus, influenza, better known as the “flu.” Some people believe that the shot itself causes the flu. This is a myth; however, the vaccine cannot always protect you from the virus. Some reasons may be that the vaccine did not have enough time to develop immunity, you may have already been exposed to the flu, your body might not respond fully to the vaccine, or it could be that the vaccine does not cover the strain of the flu you catch.

“But even during a less-severe flu season, the illness still claims many lives," Time reports. The CDC estimated in February that last year's flu season, which was described as "a relatively mild one," "sickened up to 15.2 million Americans ... causing as many as 7.2 million medical visits, 186,000 hospitalizations and 15,900 deaths, including 28 confirmed pediatric deaths,” Time reports.

There are many strains of influenza that are constantly changing. Last year’s vaccine was only 29 percent effective; this year’s effectiveness is currently undetermined.

The flu shot is not perfect, but it’s our best defense.