Thomas Nieman, Staff Writer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced it is possible to contract both the seasonal flu as well as COVID-19. With flu season swiftly approaching, making an effort to get a flu vaccine has become a high priority for people all over the country.
The big difference between the seasonal flu and the coronavirus is that COVID-19 can include a new loss of taste or smell, a distinguishing factor to look for as the U.S. endures both the pandemic and the incoming flu season.
Utica College, partnered with Rite Aid Pharmacy, will conduct flu shot clinics from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9 on campus. The location is yet to be announced. The flu clinics will be held in conjunction with the COVID-19 pooled testing and will be by signup only. No walk-ins are allowed.
Students, faculty and staff who choose to participate should bring their health insurance card and college ID and are asked to wear a short sleeve shirt.
While the flu clinics on campus are not mandatory, receiving the flu vaccine is required for all in the UC community. All students are required to submit a copy of the flu vaccine record to the Student Health Center.
“I am encouraging everybody to get vaccinated for influenza,” Immunization Compliance Officer and Registered Nurse Dawn DeGironimo said. “The best practice for everybody to do is to get vaccinated.”
DeGironimo said it’s hard to tell what the upcoming flu season will look like since flu seasons change every year.
“Australia, as well as other areas of the southern hemisphere, experienced a mild flu season and they feel that it will be the same in other countries due to the mask mandates that are in place and social distancing due to COVID-19,” she said after reading an article. “Experts are thinking it could be the same here in the U.S. but we will not know until the season begins on how it will look.”
According to the CDC, shared symptoms for both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 include having a fever and/or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Some might experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.