H1N1 vaccines on campus

After only being available to certain health care professionals and students, a limited supply of the H1N1 vaccine is now available to a larger portion of the student population.

There are currently 1,100 cases on campus and it is important that students take advantage of the vaccines, said David Lawrance, McKinley Health Center’s medical director.

The first 800 doses, of 40,000 total, of the H1N1 flu vaccine are now available and are already being administered to students who have scheduled an appointment.

McKinley is not planning any mass vaccination clinics, as there are not enough doses to warrant that need yet, Lawrance explained.

Centers are not being notified before vaccines are shipped to them so McKinley does not know when the next round will arrive, Lawrance said.

McKinley has communicated with the Illinois Department of Public Health to encourage them to consider the University a priority.

Manufacturers of the vaccination have had trouble filling requests, as 23 million doses will be shipped by the end of October, instead of the estimated 40 million.

University staff members should be able to get the vaccine from their respective providers, eventually, Lawrance said.

The intranasal spray is best for students without any medical complications, and an injectable form will hopefully be available soon, Lawrance said.

“If I were a student and could get the intranasal vaccine, I’d be thrilled,” Dr. Lawrance said in an e-mail to the Daily Illini.

“We also want a lot of the injectable vaccine so that we can begin immunizing students most likely to have complications from influenza, the 10 percent or more of the student population who have asthma or diabetes. Hopefully, they will ship us some, soon.”

Some students said they were concerned that they would not be able to receive the intranasal vaccine.

“I hope the people that are most susceptible to diseases and those with asthma should be the first to receive the vaccine injections,” said Kailey Mullins, freshman in Business.

Those who received the flu vaccine last year said they want to receive the H1N1 vaccine this year.

“I would prefer the injectable vaccine, but I do not have a problem with the intranasal one. Once I started getting flu shots, I did not get sick anymore around Christmas time, like I used to,” said Katie Mimnaugh, researcher in the department of psychology.

Even though students will eventually have the option to choose from the intranasal or injectable vaccine, some students will choose not to receive the vaccine.

“I’m not going to get vaccinated. I’m relatively healthy. I think people are going crazy about the swine flu,” said Analise Spacucello, senior in Media.

“People are feeding into the hectic media coverage.”