By Caleb Spencer / Staff Writer
When you ask someone what their favorite season is, it’s a safe bet they won’t say flu season.
Having a sore throat, aching muscles and head, as well as fever and congestion add up to a terrible experience, but that same week could’ve been infinitely better with a vaccination two weeks prior. With flu season right around the corner, getting a vaccination quickly is important.
According to the Duquesne University School of Nursing, the flu season has no definitive starting date but generally begins around October. With it already being October and the vaccine taking two weeks to go into effect according to the CDC, getting vaccinated sooner rather than later is important. Luckily, there are plenty of places where you can get a flu shot for free around Hutchinson.
The website vaccinefinder.org finds places around you that offer the flu shot, and according to the website, there are three locations in Hutchinson – Walgreens, located at 510 East 30th Ave., Dillons, located on 1321 N Main St, and Walmart, located on 1905 East 17th Ave. Walgreens and Dillons offer free flu vaccinations, but Walmart’s flu shot costs if you don’t have insurance.
The flu thrives in cold, overcast weather, according to a blog posted by Harvard University. This may be a problem for Hutchinson because the two-week forecast provided by The Weather Channel suggests that the weather will be colder and less sunny than it has been recently.
Another cause for concern comes from the list of flu viruses that this year’s vaccination protects against. One of the three viruses that the flu shot protects against is called A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus and can be contracted through “prolonged exposure to pigs at agricultural fairs,” according to the CDC. This might be a problem for the Hutchinson community, due to the Kansas State Fair taking place two weeks ago.