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UM Pharmacy Students Giving Flu Shots on Campus

A new study found that most parents believe their children can contract the flu virus just by getting the flu shot. The problem is that’s not true, and health professionals have a hard time convincing people otherwise.

Austin McQuirk is a fourth-year pharmacy student at Ole Miss. He says that the shot may make you feel bad for a day or two but is not giving you the actual flu virus.

“The way the flu shot works is we give an inactivated form of the actual flu,” he said. “It takes out some of the proteins that are going to be the most likely to cause a small immune reaction in your body. You might have some cold-like symptoms, but you are not actually getting the flu.” 

As part of the Ole Miss Pharmacy School Operation Immunization, pharmacy students are giving out flu shots across campus to raise awareness and to help prevent an outbreak of the illness this season.

Freshman Ivonne Perez said she usually gets vaccinated, but she knows people who don’t.

“I have gotten my flu shot and I haven’t gotten sick from it, but I know people who have gotten theirs and have gotten sick…so really kind of depends,” she said.  

McQuirk says he and the other pharmacy students will keep fighting that false perception.

“You just don’t want to take that risk of getting the flu, especially getting members of your family sick like your grandma or grandpa who have weaker immune systems,” he said.

Operation Immunization will continue giving shots on Oct. 22 at the Ole Miss Pharmacy School from 1-4 p.m. and on the Oct. 23 at the Ole Miss Student Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can find out more by visiting their website here. 

Story contributed by broadcast journalism students Jack Orloff and Alec Keyzer-Andre.

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