PHOTO C/O Metroland

Delivered right to your arm!

The GO-VAXX mobile COVID-19 vaccine bus is returning to McMaster on Tuesday, March 8th and Wednesday March 16th.

The mobile clinic is providing first, second or third doses to McMaster students, staff, faculty and members of the Hamilton community.

Clinic appointments can be booked via the provinces booking portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Appointments for the March 16th slot can be booked starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 12th.

The bus will be in Lot I on McMaster’s main campus.

It is recommended that attendees bring their Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and/or University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) card to the clinic.

International students should bring physical, hard copies of previous vaccinations from other countries.

C/O Yoohyun Park

The importance of self-care and managing school and other stressors

By: Anna Samson, Contributor

About halfway through every semester, Canadian postsecondary students get one week off from school. Known as a mid-term recess, or reading week, this week is meant for students to catch up on class material and assignments. It is also used as a break so that students can take some time to rest before entering the homestretch of the semester.

This year, at McMaster University, reading week for the fall 2021 semester ran from Oct. 11 to 17. 

The break is a chance for many students to spend time with family and friends. Like most fall semester reading weeks, this year’s reading week aligned with Thanksgiving weekend. In the winter semester, it aligns with Family Day. Both holidays offer good opportunities for students to reconnect with their loved ones.

Aside from seeing friends and family, students can use the break as a chance to do some self-care that they may have slacked on in lieu of schoolwork. This can include getting more sleep, taking long baths, spending time in nature, journaling, doing hobbies or just going out and having fun.

Yuka Abe, a fourth-year kinesiology student, spent her break reconnecting with family and friends. She also got some rest and devoted time to leisure reading. 

“I did read more, I think, which I haven’t done in a while. So, that was pretty nice, just reading for fun and not like school readings,” said Abe.

Since fall of 2019, students have had reading weeks that were filled with health anxiety and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fall of 2021 is the first reading week since the pandemic started where students are not stuck at home. As places open back up and people get fully vaccinated, students now have more options regarding how they choose to spend their reading week.

Zeinab Khawaja, a Health Promoter at the Student Wellness Centre at McMaster, highlights the importance of adequate sleep and rest and not being too hard on yourself throughout the school year. Her major piece of advice for students about managing stress is two-fold.

“One: trusting in your ability to handle things and get the supports that you need, because they exist at McMaster and within your social circles. Two: prioritizing rest. Say ‘this is my cut-off time and I’m gonna do as much as I can by then and then I’m gonna rest guilt-free or go to bed’,”

Zeinab Khawaja

The Student Wellness Centre has services available to students year-round. These include counseling and therapy sessions, both individually or by group, medical care and health promotion and wellness resources. Most services are covered under the McMaster Student Union Health Plan.

As this week off from school falls around the middle of the semester, students are often preoccupied with studying for midterms. Some midterms are due right before reading week, which gives students some time to recharge and recuperate afterward. Other midterms may fall after reading week, which provides students with more uninterrupted time to prepare and revise.

However, although reading week is meant to relieve stress for students, trying to balance productivity and finding time to rest can also induce greater stress for some. 

With one midterm before reading week and two more during the first week back from the break, Abe was one student who felt that the break did not offer enough time for relaxing. 

“I don’t think I was able to relax as much as I could’ve, or wanted to, during the break because I was just thinking about the midterms or like studying for them,” said Abe.

Other students have also expressed similar sentiments in previous years. 

To help organize and manage schoolwork, students can use planners to make note of due dates. Scheduling programs and apps are also great ways for students to make realistic schedules for all the tasks they have to juggle. Most importantly, making time for self-care, including exercise and relaxation, can help reduce stress.

Khawaja emphasizes the need for students to be kind to themselves.

“Forgiv[e] yourself for not completing every single thing you wanted to do and not doing everything at 110%. We’re humans, we can’t constantly be functioning at “100%” and our best looks different every single day,” said Khawaja.

Through self-kindness, rest and realistic planning, students can achieve a healthy balance between their lives and their workload. It is important that students find ways to use the reading week to enrich their minds and bodies and not feel overwhelmed by school.

C/O Hello I'm Nik/Unsplash

Time and time again, vaccination efforts have ignored the accessibility needs of disabled individuals 

We’ve all heard the endless discourse surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations these past few months. With news coming out about mandatory vaccination passports and changing travel guidelines, it’s important to take a step back and fully internalize the expansive impact of vaccination rollouts on an overlooked sector of the population. 

Individuals with a disability, both seen and unseen, have been reported as 12% less likely to have received one vaccination dose. This is due to a myriad of factors, namely inaccessible online platforms for booking vaccine appointments, difficulties getting to clinics and physically inaccessible clinic locations. 

Besides just vaccinations, the entire handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has persisted without consideration of differently abled perspectives, as echoed by the visual inaccessibility of the ArriveCAN app that determines whether vacationers can re-enter the country.

Craig Madho is a research analyst at OpenLab, an innovation hub at University Health Network , who detailed the accessibility challenges that were inherent to many early-stage pop-up clinics in Toronto. As a volunteer lead for the Mobile Vaccine Strategy Table at UHN, Madho recruited volunteers for functions such as line management and registration at various vaccine pop-ups across Toronto. 

“Definitely, there’s a balance between needing to pop-up quickly, utilizing simply what’s available and taking some time to understand the accessibility needs of the community and catering more directly to their needs,” Madho explained. 

Essentially, the requirement of meeting accessibility needs across venues was often superseded by the rush to get “hotspot” areas vaccinated. Madho further detailed that there was awareness that some factors could be improved upon and following feedback from the community, interventions such as coloured signage, more physically accessible venues and increased volunteer support were prioritized. 

Despite the best efforts of volunteer and government-run vaccine initiatives across the country, this phenomenon highlights the unfortunate nature by which accessibility needs are circumstantially forced onto the back burner, especially in the onset of a public health crisis. Individuals with disabilities are more likely to experience chronic disease and face additional barriers to acquiring appropriate healthcare and these inequities have amounted to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and lower vaccination rates, despite an increased need. 

Another factor that deserves consideration are the pertinent reasons behind vaccine hesitancy for individuals with disabilities. One of the biggest reasons behind disability-related hesitancy is a lack of trust for vaccine safety or efficacy on their disability. This exemplifies the ever-present need for holistic scientific data collection — one that actually addresses the expansive needs of our diverse population. 

Additionally, such information points to a need for vaccination clinics made specifically to cater to the needs of a community. One such example is a vaccine clinic located in the MaRS Discovery District for Innovation. It houses a quieter environment, smaller groups and open space for youth with varying accessibility needs along with their caregivers. Another clinic that was formulated to meet the needs of a specific population, the Black community of Toronto, was the vaccine pop-up held at the Jamaican Canadian Association centre on May 8 and 9, 2021. 

Clearly, steps are being taken to ensure future and more recent vaccination efforts truly encompass the needs of the entire Canadian population. However this begs the question: what more can be and should be done to improve accessibility surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations?

“Largely, what would be helpful is documentation and shared information around what has been done and what has been successful . . .  We’re at this point where we can look back and try to better understand what could be done for future clinics and health initiatives,” explained Madho.

Such a mindset has been echoed by disability organizations across the GTA. The Centre for Independent Living in Toronto  has made tremendous strides in pooling the resources available to those with disabilities, while partnering with organizations and community members to deliver vaccine town halls and webinars for both the visually impaired and autism-affected communities.

It is more important now than ever to share both the quality and depth of any information learned through the steps and missteps in the handling of COVID-19 vaccination clinics. It is truly unfair to put the onus of education completely in the hands of vulnerable populations whose voices often go unheard. Rather, both abled and disabled advocates must raise their voices to move such considerations to the front of the decision-making agenda. Achieving equitable access to public health interventions is a necessity, not a choice. 

C/O Ainsley Thurgood

McMaster’s potentially surprising welcome to the return of in-person learning this winter

By: Bianca Perreault, Contributor

Despite the excitement of a movement back to in-person functions, the return to pre-pandemic life could be a hindrance for many people. We’ve just been through over 15 months of change, with people developing new habits and experiencing a time of instability. At McMaster University, the school is looking forward to a Back-to-Mac plan for the upcoming semester. Through scares, stress and excitement, what should we expect for January 2022? Will it be welcomed? A disaster or a debate? McMaster might have to prepare for a variety of perspectives on the return of in-person learning this winter.

There’s such a diverse set of perspectives and those determine how the movement back to in-person classes will be received. Let’s look at the parents as an example, for whom it is essential that their students get a high-quality education. Many parents believe in-personal learning is highly valuable, the method by which the majority of the post-secondary studies have been delivered before March 2019. 

But what about teachers? Since the pandemic affected our academics, we must always consider the opposite party and their perspectives. It would be a lie to say that I have never heard a teacher saying that they would rather work from home for their safety. Post-secondary education hasn't stopped through this global experience, so people like professors have learned to work with it throughout eLearning and found comfort in this way of teaching. For teachers who may not want the vaccine, made mandatory at McMaster, would either have to work from home or not at all. 

We must also consider the perspective of students who feel that they work better and learn more efficiently in-person. Prior to the pandemic, very few educational institutions were offering online or hybrid options. However, online learning was always there through programs such as Cégep à distance and even online programs through McMaster Continuing Education. Countless people may have assumed that online learning would be straightforward as they would have less effort to do "physically." However, it has proven to be challenging for so many others mentally. Despite considerable rise in student enrolment in entirely online courses over the last two years, given the circumstances of the pandemic, most students have still said they would prefer continuing with in-person classes if they had the option.

Despite considerable rise in student enrolment in entirely online courses over the last two years, given the circumstances of the pandemic, most students have still said they would prefer continuing with in-person classes if they had the option.

As an out-of-province student coming from Quebec, it was less trouble for me to move to Hamilton, take a COVID-19 test and show my proof of vaccination while living in the same country where McMaster is located. However, numerous online students, including one of my roommates, haven’t been able to arrive in time for the start of the school year due to the rules and restrictions for international students. How are these students handling the challenge of being in a completely different country while only wishing to be in Hamilton? Is it naive of us to assume such restrictions won’t hinder the success of international students before the winter semester? 

With all these questions and perspectives in mind, it’s difficult to fully understand the impact that the move to in-person learning may have. 

C/O Daniel Schludi

Immunocompromised populations can now receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario

By: Anna Samson, Contributor

On Sept. 10, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization released new guidelines regarding the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to now include immunocompromised people. Based on this recommendation, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam has advised that immunocompromised individuals should receive a third dose of the vaccine to build a stronger immune response to the COVID-19 virus. Eligible individuals will be contacted by their doctors and given a referral form for the third dose. This additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered a minimum of eight weeks after receiving the second dose.

The decision to include immunocompromised people for third dose eligibility supplements the previous month’s announcement to add a third shot to Ontario’s one or two dose vaccine series rollout plan. However, the third dose is only available for specific vulnerable populations. Previously, the vulnerable groups eligible for the third vaccine dose consisted of transplant recipients, those with hematological cancers undergoing active treatment, recipients of an anti-CD20 agent and those in high-risk settings such as long-term care homes and First Nations elder care lodges.

Now, immunocompromised individuals are added to the list. This includes those undergoing active treatment for solid tumors, those in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell, those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and those undergoing active treatment with immunosuppressive therapies.

For the general population, receiving the recommended one or two doses of the vaccine offers sufficient protection against the COVID-19 virus and its variants, including the highly transmissible Delta variant. However, immunocompromised individuals have a lowered immune response to the recommended one or two dose vaccines and require a third dose to build up adequate immunity.

Matthew Miller, a member of The Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, reiterated this. 

“We actually consider this third dose a way for them to complete their primary immunization series and the reason for that is because the immunocompromised people and some frail elderly people like those who live in long-term care settings just don’t mount as good of an immune response as the general population,” said Miller. 

Miller went on to explain how a third dose for immunocompromised people is equivalent to the two doses that others receive. 

“[B]y giving them a third dose, what we’re trying to do is just get them to the same level that everyone else is at after two doses. It’s not that we’re really boosting them, it’s just we’re trying to get them up to the same point as everyone else because of the way that their immune systems [respond] more poorly to vaccines in general,” said Miller. 

There are fewer COVID-19 antibodies in fully vaccinated immunocompromised people than in fully vaccinated non-compromised people. These antibodies also wane faster in vulnerable populations as compared to the general population. Immunocompromised people are more likely to be adequately equipped against the COVID-19 virus when they have received a third dose of the vaccine to assist their immune response.

Following the provincial guidelines, Hamilton is now offering immunocompromised residents a third dose of the vaccine. The additional dose can be received at any Hamilton Public Health Services’ community clinics, St. Joseph Healthcare Hamilton and most pharmacies. To receive the third dose, individuals must bring a completed referral form given to them by their doctors. 

According to Miller, additional vaccine doses are not available on the McMaster University campus because a third dose is administered after verification from a physician.

“[T]hose additional doses are normally procured after talking to a physician who knows your medical history and if you fall into one of those [eligible] categories,” said Miller.

The pandemic has been especially difficult for immunocompromised people and other vulnerable populations at a higher risk of infection. Many of whom have had to be extra vigilant to protect their health during the last year and a half. Receiving a third dose of the vaccine offers a better chance for these vulnerable groups to armour themselves against COVID-19.

A team at McMaster University is working on a second-generation vaccine, which are designed to protect against viral variants

C/O Brian Lichty

By: Natalie Chen, Contributor

As of March 6, 2021, approximately six out of every 100 Canadians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 26 out of every 100 Americans.

While Canada has approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, researchers have also been hard at work at McMaster University’s Robert E. Fitzhenry Vector Laboratory to develop two second-generation COVID-19 vaccines.

Brian Lichty, a principal investigator of the vaccine development project and an associate professor at McMaster’s Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, explained the novelty behind these vaccines.

The first-generation of COVID-19 vaccines contain a spike protein, which will teach our immune system to recognize and protect us from COVID-19. The second-generation vaccines will also use the spike protein but are trivalent, indicating that it is composed of three structures found on the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2.

The two additional components that the second-generation vaccines contain are called the nucleoprotein and the polymerase. As they are less likely to mutate, the second-generation vaccines with these two components of the coronavirus may provide increased immunity against variants of SARS-CoV-2.

“We’re hoping that the broader immunity that our vaccine[s] can generate will help control even the variants. We’ve actually designed [the vaccines] to potentially give some protection against related coronaviruses,” said Lichty.

“We’re hoping that the broader immunity that our vaccine[s] can generate will help control even the variants. We’ve actually designed [the vaccines] to potentially give some protection against related coronaviruses.”

Brian lichty

Another novel aspect of the second-generation vaccines is the provision of the booster dose via inhalation. Similar to using a puffer, the vaccines can be aerosolized and inhaled by the recipient.

The idea and the technology used to create these COVID-19 vaccines stemmed from previous vaccine trials for tuberculosis conducted by Dr. Zhou Xing and Dr. Fiona Smaill, who are principal investigators on the vaccine development project alongside Lichty and Matthew Miller.

There are two main benefits to this approach. Since memory in our immune system tends to remain in the area where the pathogen is last found, targeting the upper airways and the lungs — the primary points of contact for SARS-CoV-2 — would provide greater and longer-lasting protection.

“The other benefit to [this] route is, we actually can get away with a much lower dose than injecting [the vaccine] into the arm. If you think about it, that would allow for more people to be vaccinated with the same starting amount of material, which is important nowadays because we’re struggling to vaccinate all the people that need it,” explained Lichty.

Sam Afkhami, a co-lead researcher working under the principal investigators and a recent Ph.D. graduate from McMaster’s medical sciences program, expressed his hopes regarding the impact of the novel project.

“We’re hoping to show essentially the community and the world that thinking outside the box of traditional vaccine strategies can provide us with avenues of developing vaccines with broader immunity,” said Afkhami.

“We’re hoping to show essentially the community and the world that thinking outside the box of traditional vaccine strategies can provide us with avenues of developing vaccines with broader immunity.”

Sam Afkhami

The Robert E. Fitzhenry Vector Laboratory, the vaccine manufacturer, was created in 2004 and was the first of its kind in Canada. The research conducted within the laboratory is part of Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemic and Biological Threats, a McMaster initiative of interdisciplinary teams of global experts to prepare for future outbreaks. 

As one of Canada’s only institutions equipped to isolate SARS-CoV-2, Canada’s Global Nexus has partnered with the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization to spearhead vaccine development, the creation of new diagnostic tools and to produce clinical trials.

Afkhami and Ph.D. student Michael D’Agostino, another co-lead researcher of vaccine development and a member of the Miller Laboratory at McMaster, have also emphasized the importance of internal collaboration at McMaster that has led to the creation of the vaccines.

“The collaborative environment that we have here is next to none, and I really want to highlight how important the collaboration has been to the rapidity of the work we’ve done so far and getting these vaccines from theory to pre-clinical testing to eventual clinical application,” expressed Afkhami.

“The collaborative environment that we have here is next to none, and I really want to highlight how important the collaboration has been to the rapidity of the work we’ve done so far and getting these vaccines from theory to pre-clinical testing to eventual clinical application.” 

Sam Afkhami

“There are so many people that are involved behind the scenes, and none of this would be possible without them for sure,” added D’Agostino.

For undergraduate students interested in scientific research, D’Agostino and Afkhami also shared advice on how to gain hands-on experience.

“Don’t be afraid to contact the professors that teach your courses. If they give a lesson that’s something you can see yourself interested in or you want to learn more about, I’d suggest reaching out to them,” D’Agostino explained. “Send an email seeing if you could even just hang around the lab [and] help out where you can.”

To those passionate about virology, Afkhami also recommended the McMaster Immunology Research Centre.

“Overall, it’s a great centre if you’re very interested in research and things like virology, vaccine development or just basic immunology,” Afkhami said. “MIRC is one of the most fantastic places, I think, [where] you can get that type of experience in Ontario.”

Sil Time Capsule is a new series that will continue to bring forward student voices

As we near the end of 2020, now is a good time to reflect, especially given how much has changed this past year. 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but with its difficulties come opportunities for learning and changing, both within all of us as individuals and within our society. 

The COVID-19 pandemic remains the event that will define 2020 for years to come. The pandemic and its regulations have caused tensions, a shift across the board in education and different sectors to a virtual environment and rises in mental health issues due to isolation and other issues faced by many.

This pandemic has brought forth many challenges, particularly for students struggling to make the best of their youth amid a world of isolation and online classrooms. However, it has also highlighted pre-existing issues within our society, such as serious health disparities as a result of socioeconomic status. All in all, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has forever changed our world and how we experience it as individuals and as students. 

[/media-credit] Information from the City of Toronto, as reported by Jessica Cheung of the CBC

 

Next, there was the shooting of George Floyd and the rallying cry against anti-Black racism in North America and across the world. The Black Lives Matter movement, an existing movement against police brutality and anti-Black racism, shifted into the limelight, offering all a chance to reflect on their role in anti-Black racism.

The effects of this were far-reaching, with systemic racism being highlighted across our nation at an institutional and individual level. Beyond discussions on anti-Black racism, there was also a rise in the discourse regarding anti-Indigenous racism. The Land Back protests are a prime example of the important role activism played this year in sparking dialogue on inequities in our society. As students and as a student newspaper, it is essential these events are brought forth and discussed adequately.

[/media-credit] Black Lives Matter protests in Toronto, as reported by Laura Armstrong and Jacob Lorinc of the Toronto Star

 

Finally, there was the 2020 United States federal election. Although American politics can sometimes feel distant, this election caused — and will cause for the next four years — a shift in global politics and marked the end of an era in the United States and North America with Donald Trump as the President of the United States.

Additionally, given the close ties between Canada and the US, the repercussions and changes that will accompany the election and its results will be felt here more than in other countries. 

It is important to note the election, along with all other monumental aspects of 2020 mentioned thus far, was accompanied by a multitude of other important global events. These must — and will — be discussed in great detail in the coming issues at the Silhouette through both this series as well as through our Summer of Activism series in the News section. 

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As a student newspaper, it is important we discuss global events and how they affect us and the McMaster student community. Global events affect everyone in one way or another. COVID-19 is a global health issue but has left deep impacts on the lives of students. It highlighted important issues in our society such as the extent to which income and privilege dictate your level of health and protection. Students are not isolated nor removed from these realities.

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It is also important to discuss the many global events of 2020 as a student newspaper because these are in many ways mirrored by realities in our own community. For example, just as systemic racism and police brutality shifted to the limelight of national political discourse in the United States, realities at McMaster such as the anti-Black racism culture in the university’s athletics department were highlighted in a recent report.

As a student newspaper, we are responsible for informing our peers, discussing these issues and how they have affected our students. As global citizens, we are responsible for raising awareness of global issues, events and inequities. 

More than just being mirrored in our community, these events have also had a profound influence on our very sense of community.

More than just being mirrored in our community, these events have also had a profound influence on our very sense of community. Often exceptional and unprecedented events encourage stronger connections and drive communities closer together.

However, the nature of the pandemic has resulted in the opposite, with many students feeling disconnected and unsupported in these difficult times. As a student newspaper, it is important that we not only inform our peers and raise awareness about global events and issues but also that we do our part to maintain community and facilitate the connection between students.

Furthermore, this kind of coverage and engagement with global events is something that many, if not most, students are interested and invested in. During the Black Lives Matter protests at the beginning of June, the Silhouette posted a short message in solidarity, but we were challenged by our community to do more. Over the last few months, we have been working to deliver on those promises that were made and are continuing to look for ways in which we can improve.

Across all sections this past semester we have worked to ensure that we address and acknowledge these issues and events and their influence on our community. This article in particular serves as the introduction to a new series. Titled Sil Time Capsule, this series is an opportunity to reflect on this past year and draw attention to the ways in which it has affected our community as well as the wider world.

2020 has been an eventful and unprecedented year and as a student newspaper, we have a responsibility to acknowledge these events, inform our peers and raise awareness about them. We also have a responsibility to address the ways in which they have affected and influenced not only the wider world but also our own community. This time capsule series is one way by which we are working to do justice to the events and issues of this year and their influence on the communities big and small of which we are a part.

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By: Sohana Farhin

Different from the common cold, the flu is a common term for the influenza virus, a highly contagious airborne virus that spreads rapidly in cold weather. Catching the flu can cause symptoms such as a high fever, fatigue and muscle aches, which commonly last up to two weeks. In severe cases, it can cause hospitalization and death, particularly for more vulnerable populations, including the elderly. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that there were 591 deaths due to the flu last year. Despite this, many wonder if it is worth it to get the vaccination.

In simple terms, the flu vaccination is an injection of inactive virus particles into your body, which generates a specific, but mild immune response. This primes your body to respond more effectively when you contact the real virus. But, there is a catch (or two) to it.

Although the flu shot is highly effective against the influenza virus, it does not guarantee protection. The influenza virus is a quickly mutating and evolving virus with many strains. It would be impossible to vaccinate against all strains and as such, the flu shot is a trivalent vaccine, designed to protect from the three major strains of the virus for the current season. As well, your body requires approximately two weeks to effectively generate antibodies to combat the virus. This means that the flu shot won’t be in full effect until two weeks after vaccination.

There has been growing concern and misconception that a preservative called thimerosal, which can often be found in vaccines, is linked to autism. However, studies have conclusively shown that there is no such link between the two, and the initial conclusion was based on scientifically invalid evidence.

Another misconception is that you can get the flu from getting the flu shot. Though some people may feel some mild flu-like symptoms as a result of the antibody response being generated. As a result, it is advised that you are healthy before receiving the flu shot. However, there is no possible chance of acquiring the flu from the vaccination because the virus is inactive.

If you are allergic to eggs, there is a slight chance of having an allergic reaction since the vaccine is cultured in a low amount of egg protein. However, it is possible to request an “egg-free” flu shot. There is also a nasal-spray vaccine for those with a fear of needles!

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the flu shot to everybody who is over six months old. From a public health perspective, protecting yourself from the flu, protects more vulnerable people around you, including those who cannot receive the vaccine. Flu shots are available for free in Ontario and McMaster students can get it by booking an appointment with the Student Wellness Centre.

The Student Health Education Centre is here to provide you with information and resources that you need to make a decision about the flu-shot. If you have any more questions, visit us at MUSC 201 and we will be there to provide resources, referrals and support.

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