The AU Health Center will be receiving its first H1N1 vaccines shortly, according to Director of the Student Health Center Dan Bruey.
The District of Columbia acquired 36,000 doses of the vaccine in nasal spray form on Oct. 7, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, the Department also distributed hundreds of thousands of doses throughout the country, according to its Web site.
The Health Center does not know when or how much of the vaccine it will receive, Bruey said. However, he said the campus will not be left uninformed when it does arrive.
“After we receive the vaccine, the Student Health Center will notify the campus community, through Today@AU, of our vaccine clinic plans,” Bruey said in an e-mail.
The Health Center agreed to be an H1N1 administration site and will be distributing the vaccine according to its allocation regulations — enabling some individuals to receive the vaccine before others, according to Bruey.
The first round of the vaccine will be given to individuals in the “priority groups,” Bruey said.
These groups include pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than six months of age, health care and emergency medical personnel, all people between six months and 24 years old and people between the ages of 25 to 64 who have health conditions that put them at a higher risk of medical complications from the flu.
Kaitlyn Rooney, a junior in the Kogod School of Business, said that she would get the vaccine at the Health Center because it would be convenient for her, and agrees with the way it is being apportioned.
“I think they could give priority first to [those] who are more susceptible to the virus,” Rooney said. “[But] I do not think everyone needs to get the vaccine — they can choose whether they want to get it.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control Web site, young adults between 19 and 24 — the age of many college students — are at a high risk because “they often live, work and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population.”
The U.S. government has purchased 250 million doses of the vaccine, which comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray, according to the CDC. There are no expected shortages. However, the vaccines will be distributed as they are produced, rather than all at once, making initial dispensation limited.