IU experts urge students to prioritize getting the flu shot as Thanksgiving approaches – Indiana Daily Student

Then-junior Bryce Asher receives a COVID-19 vaccination April 12, 2021, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU experts encouraged students to get a COVID-19 booster shot as they prepare to head home for Thanksgiving.
As the flu spreads across campus surpassing COVID-19 infection rates, IU experts urge people to prioritize taking their flu shot since the flu has made a more common appearance among students. 
Beth Rupp, medical director at the IU Student Health Center, said the center has seen over 60 cases of the flu in the past week, compared to the under 10 COVID-19 cases they have seen. She said she urges people to get their flu and COVID-19 shots, which are safe to receive at the same time. 
Since fewer people are masked up, Rupp said it is particularly important for people to get their vaccine to ensure healthy and safe interactions. She said collective fatigue towards COVID-19 and the flu explains why people are not taking precautions, in turn contributing to greater spread of the flu on IU’s campus.  
“Both flu and COVID-19 can cause serious illness in anybody,” she said. 
Related: [40 COVID-19 cases reported this week in Monroe County, monkeypox cases remain low]
Rupp said walk-in flu shot appointments are available to students at the Student Health Center. She said this makes it easier and more convenient for students to protect themselves and others before traveling. It will decrease the chances they get sick and miss a week of class. 
Although it is important that people get the booster against the latest COVID-19 variants, IU Chief Health Officer Aaron Carroll said the flu is a much more immediate risk. Since it takes 10 to 14 days for vaccines to kick in and produce antibodies, the sooner someone gets it, the better.  
Even though people may not be fully protected by Thanksgiving, they will still be much less likely to contract the flu. Carroll said the flu this year is also significantly more contagious than COVID-19, which gives students more reason to prioritize their flu shot. He said there is no reason for people not to get their shot. 
Related: [FDA approves bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine for children ages 5 to 11]
“Why would you take the risk?” he said. 
IU junior Alex Coniaris said he has scheduled to get his flu and COVID-19 shots this week. 
Coniaris said he thinks it is important people get their flu and COVID-19 shots prior to traveling because of the high infection risk during vacations and on airplanes.  
“That’s just a lot more exposure to people in more close proximities,” he said.
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