Lauren Koelling and Sarah Dakofsky | SPORTS AND LIFESTYLES
La Cueva nurses immunized about 103 students as part of a district-wide flu shot initiative during the month of October. According to Nancy Hostetler, La Cueva school nurse, “The flu shot is recommended for all people from the age of two and up, and it’s not certain that it will be effective, but you should still protect yourself.”
Unlike flu immunizations of the past, students received their “shot” in a nasal spray instead of via a needle stick to the upper arm. Intranasal inoculation had been developed for the benefit of young children, but a freshman who had the vaccine said, “I would rather have a shot than something in my nose. That’s weird.”
Students who received the flu shot were treated to popcorn, tootsie rolls, and licorice. Junior Abby Lutz said that they were instructed to wait 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine in case there were adverse effects, which may include dizziness and wheezing.
The flu and cold are very common, so why do people need an immunization for the common flu? And why repeat every year? According to the Mayo Clinic, the flu adapts to vaccines and immunizations, so it is easier to contract. The immunization is always changing because it has past flu viruses embedded in it to fight newer strains of the virus. The La Cueva Nurses have already seen some cases and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
“The funding for these immunizations is through the department of health,” said Hostetler, “unless a student does have insurance. They will be billed.” Vaccinations are also available at your local grocery store, Walgreens, and UNM.