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Quiz: Which spring flower are you?
Quiz: Which spring flower are you?
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • March 1, 2024
Cloude Fewkes (‘24) stars during a performance of a recent Green Hope Theatre play, Almost Maine. Photo used with permission from Cloude Fewkes.
Talents of Theater: Cloude Fewkes
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer • March 1, 2024
Davis Drive Park has fields, Greenways and trails.
Gallery: Parks around town
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Quiz: Which spring flower are you?
Quiz: Which spring flower are you?
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • March 1, 2024
Cloude Fewkes (‘24) stars during a performance of a recent Green Hope Theatre play, Almost Maine. Photo used with permission from Cloude Fewkes.
Talents of Theater: Cloude Fewkes
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer • March 1, 2024
Davis Drive Park has fields, Greenways and trails.
Gallery: Parks around town
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Flu season poses risk to communities

Experts+encourage+people+to+get+vaccinated+in+order+to+prevent+influenza+from+further+spreading.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+the+CDC+via+Unsplash.+
Experts encourage people to get vaccinated in order to prevent influenza from further spreading. Photo used with permission from the CDC via Unsplash.

As the weather cools, many head out to get their annual flu vaccine — even the two-time Super Bowl champion tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, Travis Kelce, is encouraging his fans to follow. The celebrity recently took part in an advertisement to encourage people to get the annual flu vaccine alongside a COVID-19 booster shot.

Between the months of October and May is an annual period of time known as flu season. While the influenza virus can appear year-round, during these months, it most commonly circulates widely. People are also indoors more often, and therefore more likely to facilitate the transmission of pathogens. 

The availability of the flu vaccine has been an issue in the past, but current stocks make it unlikely to be an issue this year as 145.42 million doses of the vaccine are already distributed in the U.S. The projected amount of vaccines to be supplied to the country ranges between 156 and 170 million doses.

Although the U.S. population is much higher than the number of vaccines available, some don’t plan to get the vaccine. Various reasons led to this decision including fear, disbelief in the effectiveness and allergies to certain vaccine ingredients. Many other reasons, however, can contribute to people refusing to take vaccines annually against influenza. 

A large majority of the elderly population receives the vaccine. As one of the most at-risk groups for serious complications and long-term effects, elderly people are a critical demographic to get vaccinated, according to experts. Failure to do so could possibly lead to death and massive fatalities. Every year, 9 million to 41 million Americans contract the flu; 140,000 to 710,000 are hospitalized from the flu; and 12,000 to 52,000 die from the flu. 

As for the cost of the flu vaccine being an issue for some, most insurance companies cover the price of getting a flu shot. However, for those that don’t, it is available for free or at low prices in many locations.

For those who are unable to access the flu vaccine, experts say that even basic hygienic practices can prevent the spread of influenza. Such practices include sneezing into a tissue or elbow, washing hands on a regular basis and avoiding contact with the fact, when possible. 

Green Hope health science teacher Ashley Davidson highlighted various ways that people can stay healthy during flu season.  “Get your annual flu vaccine – most insurances pay for you to receive one so there is no cost to you. Make sure you wash your hands regularly – you should use warm water and scrub your hands with soap for 20-30 seconds before rinsing. This is most important before you eat. Keep active, eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. The CDC recommends 8-10 hours of sleep for teenagers.”

In addition to this information, Mrs. Davidson explained some of the benefits of getting a flu shot. “Your chance of contracting the flu is 40%-60% less if you get the flu vaccine. If you don’t get the vaccine, you could be more at risk for pneumonia, ear infections, and sinus infections. If you do have symptoms after getting the vaccine, they are milder and don’t last as long.”

As flu season continues, those who are vaccinated and maintain hygienic practices keep their communities safer from the virus.  

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About the Contributor
Mason Cline, Staff Writer
Mason is currently a junior at Green Hope High School and this is his first year on staff. He plays for the school’s varsity football team and hopes to study business at either NC State or UNC Wilmington. He spends his free time eating “good food”, especially sushi. As the youngest in a big family, Mason claims it was hard for him to figure out what he wanted to do. However, with a few English classes and a new found love for writing, joining the GH Falcon became an interest he could call his own. Nine times out of ten, if you ask Mason what he’s listening to, it’ll probably be a Travis Scott song.
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