Flu season exhausts shot supplies

By Cameron Ehring

 

At the peak of California’s influenza season, only a few dozen flu shots remained at Student Health Services as of Jan. 31, according to staff members.

Paula Cahill, a nurse practitioner at Student Health Services, said City College ordered 600 shots for this year’s flu season to give away for free on a first-come-first-serve basis, and 100 additional shots available for sale.  All 600 of the free shots had been used before New Year’s, and at the time of this article, only 36 of the shots available for sale remained.

Until supplies are exhausted, the few remaining flu shots are available for purchase at $15 for students, and $20 for faculty and staff.  Health care professionals say the vaccine is still the best way to safeguard against the virus, and it can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms if contracted.

Valerie Carlese, an industrial design student, was one of the 600 students who received a free vaccine last semester. She was initially wary of receiving the vaccine, but said “the nurses were sweet, patient and they explained the whole vaccine.”  Valerie added that she plans to get another shot next flu season.

Last flu season, 480 shots were made available to the 70,000 students of City College at no cost, and according to Cahill, every last one was used.

Debra Giusto, chair of the registered nursing program, said a virus like this one can survive on surfaces for up to 24 hours. “It’s the simple things,” she said, “like handwashing and cough n’ cover” that will prevent disease from spreading.  However, she warned that an aggressive virus can spread despite good hygiene practices.

Giusto explained how densely populated areas are hit the hardest during the progression of a seasonal flu, so areas like San Francisco will always be on high alert for the spread of infectious disease.

While some students may be tempted to reach for a bottle of antibiotics leftover from their last sore throat, Cahill cautioned that “antibiotics won’t work against the flu.” She recommends staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and getting a flu shot –even if you’ve already battled the flu this season.

Antiviral medication is sometimes prescribed for flu patients, but only if the infection is caught in its initial stages. Otherwise, anyone infected should stay at home in an effort to limit further spread of the virus. Health care professionals expect the flu to last on through February, and possibly into March.

 

Debra M. Guisto M.SN.,R.N

Director Department of Nursing

(415) 239-3090

dgiusto@ccsf.edu

 

Paula J. Cahill

Nurse Practitioner @ Student Health Services

(415) 452-5388

pcahill@ccsf.edu

 

Valerie Carlese

Industrial Design Student at CCSF

 

Jan. 24, 2018. Guardsman Reporter Cameron Ehring receiving the influenza vaccine from Nurse Practitioner Paula Cahill at Student Health Services on City College of San Francisco’s Ocean Campus. Photo courtesy of George Martiniano.
Jan. 24, 2018. Guardsman Reporter Cameron Ehring receiving the influenza vaccine from Nurse Practitioner Paula Cahill at Student Health Services on City College of San Francisco’s Ocean Campus. Photo courtesy of George Martiniano.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. A bottle of the influenza vaccine made available to Students at Health Services on the Ocean Campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. A bottle of the influenza vaccine made available to Students at Health Services on the Ocean Campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill preparing documents for a students vaccine at Student Health Services on the Ocean campus of City College of San Francisco. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill preparing documents for a students vaccine at Student Health Services on the Ocean campus of City College of San Francisco. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine at Student Health Services on the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine at Student Health Services on the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. The Lobby at Student Health Services on City College of San Francisco’s Ocean Campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. The Lobby at Student Health Services on City College of San Francisco’s Ocean Campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine made available to students in front of Health Services at the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine made available to students in front of Health Services at the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine made available to students in front of Health Services at the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Jan. 24, 2018. Nurse Paula Cahill holding a vial of the influenza vaccine made available to students in front of Health Services at the City College Ocean campus. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

 

Nurse Paula Cahill standing in front of Student Health Services with a vial of the influenza vaccine on Jan. 24, 2018. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman
Nurse Paula Cahill standing in front of Student Health Services with a vial of the influenza vaccine on Jan. 24, 2018. Photo by Cameron Ehring/The Guardsman.

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