It’s only February, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 states have reported widespread flu activity and influenza-like illness. During the 2016-2017 flu season, only 44.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against the flu. That puts Michigan in 33rd place in the country according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In DeWitt, The Hometown Pharmacy along with the Sparrow Medical Center are trying to educate the community on the flu and the importance of getting vaccinated.
Kaitlyn Smith, the head pharmacist at Hometown Pharmacy, has seen more people come in for flu shots than have actual cases of the flu. She believes the process, which is free of cost and only takes a few minutes, to be a game changer in fighting the flu and keeping you healthy.
Every year, influenza becomes a large illness that overtakes many people’s health. According the the American Hospital Association, on average, 25 million people get infected with influenza every year. Five to 50,000 people die every year from this illness. The best way to prevent this: getting your flu shot. Every year, the flu changes and so does the vaccination. The AHA says it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to work in your body. Getting it done early is recommended. The University Physician on campus offers free flu clinics for faculty and staff. The first one was located in the MSU Main Library. Kate Comby is a retired librarian from MSU and she still drives to campus to get her flu shot every year. “It’s been a routine for me for years,” said Comby. She’s been getting her flu shot every year since she was in college. She worked at MSU and came into contact with the illness because she was surrounded by students who were sick.