Goshen College is continuing precautions against the H1N1 virus by offering the H1N1 vaccine. The vaccine will be available at the Wellness and Health Center in mid-October for students, faculty, and staff.
“In terms of getting the [H1N1] shot, the sooner the better,” said Diane White, director of the Wellness and Health Center. The amount of vaccines that will be available on campus is still unknown, although first priority will be offered to children and young people through the age of 24.
The FDA will be distributing the H1N1 vaccine to each state, and the states will divide the vaccines between the different counties.
“Elkhart County is scheduled to get 29,200 doses of H1N1 vaccine,” said Frank Johnson, leader of the Crisis Management Team at Goshen College, in a press release regarding the college’s action plan against the virus.
The Wellness and Health Center is advising all students to receive both the seasonal flu shot, available now at the Wellness and Health Center for $15, and the H1N1 vaccine when it arrives. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), these two vaccines are the best prevention against the flu strains this season.
Goshen College has currently had only two on-campus quarantines as a precautionary measure against the possible spread of H1N1. These students have been moved back into the dorms and are recovering well. White said that several other students that live locally have been quarantined in their own homes after exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
“H1N1 never went away. We’re worried it will come back full force,” White said.
The H1N1 vaccines will be different from previous flu shots. Vaccines have historically been live attenuated vaccines in which the vaccine contained a weakened form of the given virus. The new vaccine will be an inactive vaccine, meaning the virus is killed in order to produce the vaccine.
Some are concerned that it is too early to create a vaccine because the virus could still mutate.
“Although the virus can mutate, we hope that there will be enough cross-protection through recognition of the new virus,” states the FDA. “But if the virus changes too much, we will need new vaccines.”