Battle for a Healthy Nevada: How to show school spirit with a flu vaccine.

jennyThe Red Sox versus Yankees. Celtics versus Lakers. Rebels versus Wolf Pack.  Team rivalries run deep, and nowhere in Nevada does this ring more true than between the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Each year the teams compete in the traditional Battle for Nevada, and this flu season, Immunize Nevada aims to harness that competitive spirit. Between Oct. 1 and March 31, UNR and UNLV students, alumni, faculty and fans can represent their school by getting a flu vaccine. The campus with the most flu vaccines at the end of the season will be declared the winner of the Fremont Syringe! Whether you bleed Wolf Pack blue or Rebel red, the flu is a serious health risk for everyone. Students’ close-quarter lifestyles — dorms, classrooms and public events — make it easy to spread the flu.

As a freshman, Jenny Prophete was just settling into dorm life and starting college classes when the flu almost derailed her first semester. Now Prophete, who is currently earning her master’s degree in public health from UNLV, gets a flu shot annually. “It was really hard to go to class. … I had a fever, I was coughing, I just wanted to stay in bed all day,” she says. “I definitely fell behind in my schoolwork, and it really messed up my grades.” UNR graduate student Lily Davalos, who also is earning her master’s degree in public health, gets a flu shot not just for her own health, but for those around her as well. “The flu shot nolilyt only protects yourself against the flu, but also it protects the people you interact with on a daily basis,” Davalos says. “It’s good to spread awareness that even as an adult you still need to be up to date on your vaccines.”

Students at both UNR and UNLV are eligible for free flu vaccines through their student health centers. Participants can log on to register and help their school come out on top while taking care of their own health at the same time. It’s a win-win!

To register or find a schedule of Immunize Nevada flu vaccine clinics, visit www.inFLUencenevada.org.

By Anne Stokes

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