H1N1 vaccination clinic this morning

It’s time for students to conquer their fears of shots.

The first H1N1 vaccination clinic for the general student body is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today in Health Services.

After several weeks of waiting, the university received its first shipment of vaccines last Thursday. However, it only received 200 of the 6,000 doses it ordered. Therefore, last week’s clinics were only open to those aged 17 to 24 who are pregnant, working in health care or have a chronic medical condition.

“We only gave out about half of our vaccines over the two days,” said Dr. Jessica Higgs, Medical Director of the Health Center. “We have given those groups of people a few more days to call in, but [opened it up to everyone on Wednesday.]”

Since the initial shipment of 200 shots, Bradley has not received any more. This Friday’s vaccines are coming from the Peoria County Health Department.

“They got a very large shipment [Monday], and mentioned before during our community conference calls that they would share if they had sufficient quantities to manage their planned clinics,” Higgs said.

In terms of pain, she said it is similar to the seasonal flu shot. In terms of how much time the shot will take, she said it depends on how many students show up.

The Health Center is closing its other clinics during today’s vaccination time and will have four nurses administering the vaccines.

“I don’t know if students should expect a long wait,” Higgs said. “Initially, I would have said yes. But with the smaller-than-expected turnout last week, I’m not sure what to expect. If there is no line, the process takes about five minutes.”

The process involves filling out a half-sheet of paper, and then administering a shot or nasal vaccine. Although the Health Center only ordered shots, 50 of the doses provided from the health department are nasal.

Higgs said Health Services isn’t asking students for proof they are eligible for vaccination.

“The students have been very honest,” she said. “We had a handful of students not meet criteria, and they were very understanding with us.”

It’s unknown when the rest of the vaccines the Health Center ordered will arrive. The vaccinations are free, and announcements will be made as more doses are delivered.

“We continue to encourage every student on campus to get vaccinated,” Higgs said. “We are seeing a slight decline in active flu this week, but anticipate another wave in about six weeks.”