Health Services Urges Students to Sign Up for H1N1 Vaccine

Despite nationwide shortages, the University has supplies of H1N1 vaccine available for students.

<p>Supplies of flu vaccine at Student Health Services. Photo by Peter Morenus</p>
Supplies of flu vaccine at Student Health Services. Photo by Peter Morenus

Despite the nationwide shortage of H1N1 flu vaccine, UConn Student Health Services still has vaccine doses available for any healthy student under age 24 or any student under age 65 who has chronic health problems.

Students may sign up to receive the H1N1 vaccine at the Student Health Services website.

“Thus far, less than 12 percent of UConn students have either been vaccinated against H1N1 or have registered for one of our vaccination clinics,” says Michael Kurland, director of Student Health Services. “We are really surprised by the lack of participation in vaccination clinics, as universities have been given special allocations of vaccine that is disproportionate to the size of our population.”

Many people throughout Connecticut have been unable to receive the vaccine due to lack of availability.

“Remember,” says Kurland, “this is a race between the virus and the vaccine.”

Kurland notes that students returning home for Thanksgiving are asked to remain at home if they become ill while on break, only returning to campus after they have recovered – meaning more than 24 hours with no flu symptoms, without the use of fever-reducing medication.

If students are concerned about contracting H1N1 before or during finals, Kurland suggests that they consider commuting for the final weeks of the semester if they live within a reasonable distance.

“This could reduce the chances of students becoming infected,” he says.

Finally, in an effort to reduce the spread of H1N1 flu, the University has decided to cancel this semester’s Midnight Breakfast.

“This is in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Education,” says Kurland, “to promote social distancing as a way of preventing transmission of the flu.”