The Birkam Health Center has been inundated with students
Ferris recently received its second shipment of H1N1 vaccines last Friday, containing around 300 doses, which is being administered to anyone under the age of 24 who wishes to obtain it.
Since sending out a campus wide announcement that said the vaccines were in, the health center has had mass quantities of students showing up. The first shipment that came in a few weeks ago, which was administered to high priority groups including pregnant women, caretakers who look after children under six months old, clinical workers, and EMT and other public service officials, contained 200 doses.
Paul Sullivan, PhD, the director of the Birkam Health Center on campus, said that there will be another shipment coming in at either the end of this week or early next week containing a few hundred more doses. Once all of the high risk groups and students under 24 years of age have received the vaccine, it will be available to everyone.
Sullivan also said that they have satisfied the Center for Disease Control (CDC) requirements, and are encouraging students to get the vaccination. There are two types of vaccinations available, one being a nasal spray, the other being an injection. Most are given the nasal spray, as the injection is reserved for those with conditions that may put them at a higher risk if infected.
The difference between the two is that the nasal spray contains an active virus, which is a newer technology for vaccination, and the injection contains an inactive one. The nasal spray has also been found to be less effective in people 50 years and older.
As far as the number of H1N1 cases on campus, Sullivan said that there have been around 130 since the beginning of the semester, and the rate per day is no longer increasing. While the university ran out of testing kits quickly, it is most likely that the cases with symptoms resembling H1N1 are in fact that.
For students wishing to receive a vaccine, if the health center fee of $47 has been paid, there is no charge. Only basic paperwork will be involved. Sullivan said that they could charge a fee for administering it, but decided not to.
“For all they’re worth…we will not charge anything,” said Sullivan.