Residence hall students can get H1N1 vaccine

Amber Wade

First batch available at no cost in Eastway

Students bustled in and out of the Eastway private dining room Tuesday to receive seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines.

There will be another flu clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Eastway private dining room. Students can schedule an appointment in advance at Walk-in appointments will also be available depending on available supplies. The vaccine is free for students.

Groups that should not receive the 2009 H1N1 LAV

&bull Children younger than 2 and adults 50 and older

&bull Pregnant women

&bull Anyone with a weakened immune system

&bull Anyone with a long-term health problem such as heart, lung, kidney or liver disease; asthma; metabolic disease such as diabetes, anemia or other blood disorders

&bull Anyone with certain muscle or nerve disorders

&bull Anyone in close contact with someone who has a severely weakened immune system

&bull Children or adolescents on a long-term aspirin treatment

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“We’ve had a steady flow of students most of the morning,” said Matthew Radigan, police support services manager and operations chief for the Incident Command Structure. “There’s been a lull here and there while classes are going on.”

Junior nursing major Jessica Gabel, one of many nursing students working to administer the vaccine, said she had seen more walk-in appointments than students who had preregistered.

The university received approximately 1,000 doses of the H1N1 Live Attenuated Intranasal Vaccine (LAIV), a nasal spray.

“My mom made me get it,” sophomore nursing major Rose Johnson said. “I’m from California, so I have to fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so she’s concerned about it while I’m flying.”

Radigan said the university has already preregistered and ordered more of the vaccine when it will be made available.

“The Ohio Department of Health received additional shipments today,” Radigan said. “We don’t know what form it will be or how much we will receive when we get more.”

The vaccine is currently available to students living in the residence halls and some residence and dining services employees because of their proximity to residence halls.

“It will be open to the rest of the university as more is readily available,” Radigan said.

The university has only received the spray form of the vaccine, which limits the people who are able to receive it because it contains a live virus. It’s specifically recommended for healthy individuals ages 2 to 49.

“People are more afraid of the H1N1 because they’ve heard horror stories of live virus vaccines,” Gabel said. “The risks are minimal compared to getting the disease, though.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have received the vaccine reported side effects of runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, chills, tiredness or headaches.

“I’m not really concerned,” Johnson said. “I’m just glad it’s not a shot.”

As more doses are made available to the university, they will plan more clinics for students to receive the vaccine.

“We’d like to encourage those who have not signed up and have not got one that when we have more available to go out and get the vaccine,” Radigan said.

Contact health reporter Amber Wade at [email protected].