UHS To Provide H1N1 Vaccines
All students, faculty, and staff who receive coverage from Harvard University Health Services will be able to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine by the end of November, according to Health Services Director David S. Rosenthal ’59.
Rosenthal said that UHS has received a few hundred doses of the vaccine’s weekly shipments, and that another shipment is expected to arrive this week.
“We are very much hopeful that everyone will be able to receive the vaccine,” Rosenthal said. “Governor Patrick said that there should be enough.”
UHS originally ordered 15,000 doses of the vaccine, but it did not receive the original shipment when production was slowed nationwide due to issues with the vaccine’s preparation.
Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78 announced last Friday that vaccines will be available statewide to anyone interested.
Since it received the first batch of vaccinations, UHS has been notifying those eligible for the H1N1 flu shot through e-mail.
In accordance with state public health guidelines, so far UHS has only vaccinated high-risk members of the Harvard community, including pregnant women and children ranging in age from six months to nine years old.
With the new shipment arriving, children under 18 years of age will now be able to receive the vaccine.
After that group has been immunized, the parents of children younger than six months and healthcare workers will be administered the vaccine next.
Once more shipments are received, the vaccine will be administered to individuals 10 to 24 years old with chronic health issues and then people 25 to 64 years old who also have previous health conditions, according to the UHS web-site.
Rosenthal said that UHS will continue to try to prevent the disease from spreading in the meantime.
“We’re making sure that we continue to isolate those who are ill until they are fever free for 24 hours,” he said.
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, UHS recommends frequently washing one’s hands with soap or hand sanitizer, avoid coughing or sneezing into one’s hands, and avoid touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth.
“Those currently not able to receive the vaccine should keep up good hygiene and continue to check the HUHS web-site for updates,” Rosenthal said.
Some students did not express concern that they may not be able to receive the vaccine until the end of November.
“It’s not something I’m worried about right now because I feel like as long as I wash my hands and protect myself, I should be fine,” said Shwinn Ricci ’13.
An earlier version of the Nov. 9 news article "UHS To Provide H1N1 Vaccines" incorrectly stated the name of a student. The individual's name is Shwinn Ricci, not Ashwin Ricci.