As a former collegiate athlete I take pretty good care of my body. I exercise regularly and try to eat as healthy as a 23-year-old bachelor can (I don’t cook), but one thing that never crossed my mind was getting a flu shot, until last spring when I wish I would have.

Last spring the flu kicked my ass for 10 days. No school. No work. I looked like somebody had beat me with an ugly stick and I felt like garbage. For 10 days.

It’s easy for us to think we’re invincible when we’re young, and that only other people get the flu. I’m here to tell you what it’s like to be the other person and why you should consider getting the flu vaccine.

We’ve all “had the flu” right? Wrong. You will know when you really get the flu and trust me you will never make the mistake of skipping out on a flu shot ever again, but why learn the hard way?

Consider that germs can linger on surfaces for up to eight hours and then think about all the things you touch throughout a typical day: counters, phones, books, desks. If you’re an athlete, add workout equipment, water bottles, towels, lockers, etc. And athletes can be especially prone to “pushing through it,” not realizing when they’re really sick.

The flu vaccine is free at the Nevada Student Health Center. You don’t have to make an appointment and it doesn’t hurt all that much (not at all for some people).

If you don’t want to get the flu shot to protect yourself, consider doing it to protect the people around you. You don’t even have to be sick to pass the virus on to someone with a compromised immune system, someone battling cancer, someone pregnant or all kinds of complications you might know nothing about.

To make getting the flu vaccine (kind of) fun, Immunize Nevada is working with Nevada and University of Nevada, Las Vegas to sponsor the Flu Vaccine Competition this year. It’s open to all students, faculty, alumni and fans, and it’s simple. After getting the flu vaccine, just record it at At the end of flu season, the school with the most vaccines recorded there wins the Fremont Syringe—and bragging rights as the most flu-protected school, of course. (Yes, we’re willing to use your rivalry to inspire you to protect us all.)

If the Student Health Center is out of your way, visit Immunize Nevada’s “Flu Vaccine Finder,” which allows you to input a zip code, generating a list of locations nearby offering the vaccine. It’s really easy, don’t be lazy and get someone else sick.

For more information on these and other clinics, visit:

We just got the cannon back – let’s beat UNLV again! Don’t wait. Get vaccinated.