Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

October 15, 2011 5:01 PM

Mumps and Flu

Hey guys! I know everyone have been hearing constant reminders about getting the mumps and flu shots, so I just want to take a moment to talk about these vaccines. Due to a recent mumps outbreak, the University is issuing FREE MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccinations to UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. More information can be found here: (http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/news/mumps.shtml). Now most people should have had their MMR shots prior to enrolling at Cal but it is highly encouraged to get a booster. Vaccines usually contain an inactivated or modified version of a certain virus combined with an adjuvant in order to enhance your body's natural immunity against the virus and create antibodies specific to it. Although the antigens that come with each vaccine should theoretically be "stored" in our body's memory B cells in the immune system, it is possible that these B cells might not work properly after a while. Unfortunately, antibiotics do not work against viruses so the only way to treat a viral infection besides taking invasive anti-virals is to wait it out and treat the symptoms. Who likes to be in bed sick?-- Nobody!

This goes with the flu shot, as well. The flu, or Influenza, is an ever-adapting virus. That is why we always need new formulations of flu vaccines to combat these tricky rascals. Although this year's Flu shot formulation is the same as last years, it will increase your chances of defending against the flu if you took a booster. The Berkeley Tang Center located at 2222 Bancroft Way is offering both these vaccines without an appointment. The MMR vaccine is free, but the Flu shot will be free to those who have SHIP and $25 for those who do not. Once again, check out this link: http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/news/mumps.shtml


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