The H1N1 vaccine has arrived.
UC Davis Student Health Services received approximately 1,000 doses of the vaccine and will be administering them to students on a first-come, first-serve basis. The vaccination costs $10 and will be charged to students’ campus billing account.
“We were fortunate to get so many doses,” said Thomas Ferguson, medical director of Student Health Center. “I’m hopeful that we’ll start to receive more vaccine but it’s all very unpredictable. [Some] other campuses haven’t received any yet.”
The first clinic will be held today starting at 1 p.m. in the Cowell Student Health Center’s North Lobby.
The majority of the doses available are live-virus and intranasal. The remaining 175 doses are injectable, and available to students with existing medical problems.
Medical experts advise all college-aged people to receive the federally funded vaccine, even if they believe they have already contracted the virus.
“Unless the flu was serologically confirmed, it would not be possible to know if it was H1N1 or some other influenza or something else entirely,” said Marc Schenker, professor of public health services, in an e-mail interview. “It is therefore appropriate to get the H1N1 when it is available. The benefits far outweigh any potential risks.”
Staff at the Health Center witnessed a spike in H1N1 occurrences in September. They expect another spike in the next month or so, Ferguson said – just about the time finals will be happening.
“Part of our mission is to get you guys through school in four years,” he said. “So we really encourage our students to get this vaccination.”
The health center strongly promotes prevention of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. Their website – healthcenter.ucdavis.edu/topics/flu-h1n1 – lists several measures students should take to avoid coming down with the H1N1 virus. These measures include:
– Covering one’s nose and mouth with a tissue while coughing and throwing away tissues in the trash after use
– Washing one’s hands often with soap and water especially after a sneeze or cough. Afterwards, use alcohol-based hand wipes as available
– Avoiding touching one’s own eyes, noses or mouths
– Avoiding contact with others who may be ill
Should students develop flu-like symptoms, they should stay home from school and receive plenty of rest, according to the website.
“Getting a large number of students vaccinated will reduce the likelihood of the H1N1 flu spreading through the campus,” Schenker said. “In addition, young people are at greater risk for H1N1 than for the usual seasonal flu. It is therefore more important than ever for students to get vaccinated.”
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at email@example.com.
Vaccination clinic dates:
Thursday, Nov. 19: 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 23: 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 24: 9:30 a.m. to noon