A second shipment of H1N1 flu vaccination has been received by Valparaiso University’s Health Center, and will be administered as supplies permit. This second shipment from the Porter County Health Department includes doses of both the injectable vaccine, suitable for all target populations, and the nasal mist vaccine, suitable primarily for people in good health.
In order to accommodate the expected demand for the H1N1 vaccine and continue providing other health services to students, the Health Center will only give vaccinations from 8 a.m. to noon until further notice. The previously scheduled vaccination clinics on Nov. 2, 4 and 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Harre Union Chapel View Lounge also have been cancelled.
The CDC has designated the following high-priority groups for the H1N1 vaccination: people 24 years of age or younger, pregnant women, parents or siblings of infants less than six months of age, and people older than 24 with certain chronic medical conditions.
Individuals who have received a nasal mist seasonal flu vaccination must wait four weeks before receiving a nasal mist H1N1 flu vaccination. There is no waiting period required for people who received an injectable seasonal flu vaccination, or who received the nasal mist seasonal flu vaccination and can receive an injectable H1N1 vaccination. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the nasal mist vaccine should not be taken by individuals who:
• Have moderate to severe febrile (fever) illness
• Have received other live vaccines within the last four weeks
• Have asthma, reactive airway disease or other chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems
• Have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or renal dysfunction
• Have known or suspected immunodeficiency disease or are receiving immunosuppressive therapies
• Are taking aspirin or other salicylates
• Have experienced Guillain Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of a previous influenza vaccine
• Are pregnant
• Have a history of hypersensitivity to eggs or previous influenza vaccinations
• Have any condition that can compromise respiratory function or handling of secretions, or increase the risk for aspiration, such as cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injury, seizure disorder, or other neuromuscular disorders
All undergraduate, graduate and law students – those living on campus as well as commuter students – who think they may have the flu are strongly encouraged to complete an online self-assessment and reporting form available at: https://www.intra.valpo.edu/flu. This form will help students determine whether or not they have the flu, report flu cases to the University’s health staff, and allow students with flu symptoms who are living on campus to request meal delivery to their rooms while recovering.
Per CDC recommendations, Valpo’s Health Center is treating students with flu-like symptoms as if they have the flu. Students should return home or isolate themselves in their rooms until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
More information about how to prevent the flu and about flu vaccination clinics is available online at http://www.valpo.edu/healthcenter/flu or by calling the Health Center, which is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 219-464-5060.
Director, Valparaiso University Health Center