This week, the federal government is beginning the first shipments of H1N1 vaccine. The University of West Georgia is the provider designated to vaccinate all students, faculty, staff and their dependents (ages 6 months and older).
While there has been a great deal of speculation about the vaccine over the past few months, the university's Health Services department has seen many cases of the flu on campus already, and welcomes the opportunity to increase the immunity of those on campus.
The federal Centers for Disease Control is recommending that most people receive the vaccination, unless they have had a recent case of the flu that was genetically determined to be H1N1 by the CDC, testing for which hasn't been conducted since July.
So even if you have had the flu recently, you need this vaccine.
Persons allergic to eggs (with hives and asthma), or those persons who have had Guillain-Barre, are NOT recommended to have the vaccine.
Pregnant women are strongly recommended to get the vaccine as influenza increases the risk of premature deliveries.
For more information you can check: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_safety_qa.htm
There you will find data about the studies that have been done on the H1N1 vaccine.
Dr. Leslie Cottrell, medical director of UWG Health Services, said that at a recent meeting at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, a CDC researcher talked about the vast resources that have been expended on this vaccine to ensure both efficacy and safety.
The researcher said that "there are whole departments at the CDC empty because everyone is working on the H1N1 vaccine."
There are numerous negative messages being circulated about the vaccination by supposed experts, but it's important to stay aware of the best scientific information available.
At UWG, the inoculation for students, faculty and staff will:
-- be free to all persons
-- consist of one shot for persons over 10 years of age. Children 6 months to 10 years will need two shots, with the second one coming no sooner than 21 days after the first.
-- be conducted at the Coliseum in conjunction with the Community Nursing Class. These experienced seniors helped run the seasonal flu vaccine, administering over 900 vaccines in 6 hours.
-- occur once Health Services has obtained several thousand doses. The vaccine clinic will then administer the doses on a first come, first served basis. Once the initial doses are dispensed, that inoculation session will be concluded and another will be offered when a similar quantity of doses has arrived. The university's total allottment is 13,530 doses.
--have a hand stamp available for recipients of the shot who need to document their participation because of time delays they might face as a result of attending a mass inoculation. Recipients will not be able to receive individual notes. Be mindful of appropriately planning your schedule.
For more information, also see: