Both campuses give H1N1 shots
Madeline Buckley and Caitlin Housley | Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College have received a limited number of the H1N1 vaccine for the students, faculty and staff determined to be at high risk for contracting the virus.
The St. Joseph County Health Department gave Notre Dame about 500 doses of the vaccine Thursday, Director of Health Services Ann Kleva said. University Health Services distributed about 200 of the doses Friday.
Kleva said the first batch of vaccines was reserved for the groups at highest risk of contracting H1N1, commonly referred to as swine flu, such as pregnant women, caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age, health care personnel and people under 25 with other health problems.
The leftover 300 doses of the vaccine will be distributed at Notre Dame Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Stepan Center.
Director of Women’s Health at Saint Mary’s Catherine DeCleene said the College received 200 doses of the vaccine Thursday and administered all of its supply to faculty and students determined to be at high risk Friday.
Saint Mary’s is hoping to receive more of the vaccine later in the week, DeCleene said.
“If you can get the vaccine, get it,” she said. “I’m a vaccine believer.”
According to DeCleene, the College currently has no confirmed cases of H1N1.
Kleva said Notre Dame is also expecting to receive more of the vaccine when Health Services administers the remaining 300 doses.
The vaccines distributed Tuesday will still be reserved for the highest risk groups, but Kleva said if the University receives more of the vaccine later in the week, the doses could possibly be made available to all students, faculty and staff under 25 without underlying health conditions.
“We’re hoping that maybe by end of the week, we will have even more doses of the vaccine so we can keep expanding it to include more and more people,” she said. “But we want to get all the high risk students and faculty first.”
Between Aug. 2 and Nov. 2, Health Services treated 659 presumed cases of the H1N1 virus. Kleva said it is difficult to predict whether the vaccines will contribute to a decrease in the number of cases on campus.
“I’ve heard from the state Board of Health that the cases in this area have been peaking, so we’re anticipating that the cases on campus will drop in the near future” she said. “But of course this is a college campus and people will go home and possibly be exposed there.”