Health & Wellness

USC offers flu shots to get ahead of flu season

Flu season looms as October approaches.

A student gets his flu shot at the USC Student Health flu shot pop-up tent at McCarthy Quad on Sep 28, 2022. (Photo by Michael Chow)

With public health officials predicting a bad flu season, USC is offering students a first line of defense.

Students can get flu shots during the Trojan Farmers Market, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays from September 28 to November 9 at McCarthy Quad.

Flu season typically begins around October, peaking in the winter between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I think it’s just for everybody’s well-being,” said Thu Nguyen-Knowles, the executive director of clinical operations of USC Student Health. “If you can avoid having the flu because you received your vaccine, it is good for your health and everyone’s around you.”

For most people who need only one dose of the influenza vaccine for the season, vaccination should ideally be offered during September or October, according to the CDC.

Receiving the flu shot gives your body about two weeks to create the antibodies.

“You know, it’s really effective,” said Susan Broderick, a second year graduate student studying mechanical engineering. “I haven’t had a bad flu in like seven years or something.”

The flu can be fatal to some: people aged 50 and older, children under the age six, people with underlying conditions such as asthma or diabetes and anyone who is immunocompromised.

According to the USC Age-Friendly University Initiative, 50% of USC faculty are over the age of 50.

“It offers real benefits — reducing illnesses, medical appointments, missed classes, work and other activities due to flu, as well as preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths,” said Sarah Van Orman, USC’s chief health officer.

In alignment with Van Orman’s recommendation, some students are eager to get flu shots.

Prathamesh Lohakare, a second year graduate student studying global supply chain management, moved from India last year. He received his first flu shot since he was a child and felt strongly about getting the shot again.

“If it worked last year, why not make it a habit?” he said.