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H1N1 vaccines available on campus for students, faculty

By Melody Kirkpatrick
Staff Writer
Dec. 3, 2009

About 200 students have taken the H1N1 flu vaccine on campus for free.

There are two types of vaccines that can be administered. The types of vaccines currently being administered to students and faculty are the nasal spray or a H1N1 vaccine shot which are being given. The H1N1 vaccine is safe when using proper precautions, explained Cora Bullard, the director of Student Health Services.

The nasal spray vaccine contains a live virus and thatís why in order to get this vaccine you canít have any kind of pre-existing medical problems, like asthma or diabetes. However, you can receive the H1N1 flu vaccine shot.

The H1N1 flu shot is safer for pregnant women because this shot used for pregnant women does not contain the live virus. This can be administered at any time during a pregnancy.

UNCPís health services are limiting the H1N1 flu shot to the students and using mostly the nasal spray for the faculty. That is because students are more likely to get pregnant or have medical problems.

People who are around babies and children on a regular basis are heavily advised to get vaccinated. People between the ages of 25 and 64, and healthcare workers dealing with patients should get vaccinated. Infants younger than 6 months are too young but children ages 9 and up can receive two doses if they are receiving the vaccination for the first time.

People who have allergic reactions to eggs may not be eligible for the vaccine because it can give you a severe allergic reaction. Signs of a severe allergic reaction could include symptoms such as swelling, hives, or trouble breathing, according to the CDCís H1N1 flu website. The seasonal flu vaccine had a huge influence on making the H1N1 vaccine because they are made the same way.

If you had a confirmed case of the H1N1 flu, then you will not need the vaccine because you are immune from future cases of the H1N1 flu. You can still get the flu again, however it will not be the H1N1 flu.

The genes of any flu usually change so each time you have the flu you are getting a different version of it.

Bullard also said that she expects January and February will be the heavier months with confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu. It is best to get the vaccine before everyone leaves for break. The vaccine will be given at UNCP until Student Health Services are advised to stop. There is enough of the H1N1 vaccine for everyone on campus. The supply does meet the demand.

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Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2009
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