School should require flu shots for all students

Priyanka Ninan and Ali Verdi, Priyanka Ninan, and Ali Verdi

Winter 2012 brought one of the worst flu seasons in years, and many students were out of school for weeks at a time with the virus.

One of the most obvious ways to prevent yourself from coming down with the flu is to get the flu shot, either through injection or nasal spray.

Considering that all students spend up to seven hours in school with over one thousand other people, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Between handing in papers and sharing pencils and other supplies, there is an unlimited amount of ways for germs to spread.

Some students believe, often incorrectly, that they do not need to worry about catching the flu.

“I never get sick when other kids do, and I have never been someone who has had to worry about catching colds from my friends,” said junior Kim Byrne.  “But this winter, there were a couple of times when I got really sick and thought that it actually might have been the flu.  I learned the hard way that it is always a bad idea to assume that you are above getting sick.”

Even if you are not normally affected by viruses such as the flu, it is important not to take chances and to ensure that you do whatever you can to avoid getting sick.  The shot protects not only you, but also the people around you.

Since influenza is a highly contagious virus, schools and other public facilities are prime areas for the flu to spread.  Spending half of every weekday in school assures each student their fair opportunity to come down with a virus.

Thus, students should take any measures they can to avoid getting sick.  Yet, many resist getting flu shots, which would otherwise allow them to avoid one of the most contagious illnesses in the northeast.

Perhaps the school should go so far as to require the flu shot.

If every person in the school was vaccinated, it would benefit our school community as a whole, assuring fewer absences and healthier students.

Absences in school were at a peak this winter.  With a large amount of work missed, many students did not have a smooth return back to school.

“I have never really had the flu as bad as I had it this year,” said junior Chrystalla Neocleous.  “I was out of school for a while, and I missed so much work.  Catching up on basically a week of school while also learning new material was really hard.”

Had the school required flu shots, these students would never have missed so many days of school and would not need to stress themselves out by making up work.

Everyone should be required to get the flu shot because it prevents illnesses and the unwanted burden of catching up in and out of school.

It is very important to do everything you can to stay healthy during the winter season and getting the flu shot is an effective way of ensuring this.