With cold weather quickly approaching, so does flu season. Flu activity is spreading in Georgia much earlier than in recent years, according to A Release From the Georgia Department of Health on October 19.

However, the University of Georgia Health Center and clinics nearby do have flu vaccines accessible.

When the flu vaccine enters the bloodstream, the body is stimulated to make antibodies so it is easier to fight them if you are exposed again within two weeks after the vaccination. According to the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Flu vaccines protect both the person who receives them, while protecting others Help build herd immunity.

Herd immunity occurs when a large number of people within a community are immune to disease, making it less widespread because the virus cannot pass between enough hosts to survive, according to the APIC.

Missy Jackson, a nurse practicing women’s health and director of nursing at the University Health CenterAnd the He said students should get flu vaccinations to help prevent class loss and protect others from infection.

“The more people vaccinated, the lower the chances of passing it on to other people,” Jackson said.

UHC offers free flu vaccines to University of Georgia students via mobile clinics, book appointments through the UHC patient portal, or walk in anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“If they don’t have insurance, they can get it for free. If their insurance doesn’t cover the flu shot, they can get it for free,” Jackson said.

Vaccination appointments can also be scheduled nearby Walgreens or CVSBoth are covered by most insurance.

Hand washing is the number one way to prevent transmission. Jackson said. “If you are sick, stay home and the other option we know is to wear masks.”

However, sometimes exposure to the flu is inevitable and JAxon said the clinic is currently seeing a slight uptick.

It wasn’t bad, said Jackson, “but we’re definitely seeing more cases every day.”.

In the event of illness, Jackson said the UHC is urging students to make an appointment to get tested for a variety of viruses.

“We usually get results within 30 to 45 minutes. Students are notified the same day and the provider will discuss treatment options with them,” Jackson said.

Residents of Athens Clark County can search for a nearby clinic that offers vaccination in Vaccines.gov.

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