Students at Dal will have to wait if they want to get the H1N1 vaccine on campus. Photo: Paula Bugden


Universities wait for H1N1 vaccine

Saint Mary’s University has the vaccine and is set to host a clinic on Nov. 7, but Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent University still don’t have their own supply.

Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent University are waiting on Capital Health to find out how much of the H1N1 vaccine they'll get..

Diane Tinkham, manager of Health Services at Mount Saint Vincent, says the school still doesn't have a supply of the H1N1 vaccine. They've requested it from the Department of Health and expect it to arrive on campus next week, she says.

Tinkham says they've asked for as much as the department can give.

"I think they're trying to do the best they can with limited personnel," she said.

Dalhousie hopes to have its own H1N1 vaccine clinic on Monday, Nov. 2, says Charles Crosby, the university's media relations officer.

"Our goal is to hold stand-alone clinics on our three campuses, but that depends on the quantity we get," said Crosby.

The province asked for 1.4 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine, at a cost of $4.5 million, according to a news release from the department. The first batch came on Oct. 19 and included 52,000 doses.

Crosby explained why Dal opted for a supply of the vaccine.

"Given the shear number of people in the Dalhousie community . . . it seemed like a no-brainer," he said.

There are 16,042 students at Dal this semester, according to the preliminary registration numbers at the university's office of the registrar.

Saint Mary's is the only university in the Capital Health district listed as a H1N1 vaccine clinic location, according to the Department of Health's schedule.

While Mount Saint Vincent also offered its campus as a clinic location, Tinkham says they're waiting to hear back. In the meantime, she says students are being told about clinics that do have the vaccine.

"We can give them information about the Department of Health, but we can't tell them about a vaccine we don't have," says Tinkham.

The one-day clinic at Saint Mary's will be held at Loyola Building on Nov. 7, but Jane Collins, nurse manager at Saint Mary's Student Health Services, says it's for anybody who wants the vaccine - not just students and staff at the university.

"We've had a lot of students with the flu. I was hoping it would be for two days or longer," says Collins. "But I'm just glad it's on campus."

But people at Saint Mary's don't have to wait that long for the shot. Collins says the university's Student Health Services also asked the department for roughly 400 doses of the vaccine. It arrived on Wednesday, Oct. 28. They'll request more of the vaccine if the university needs it, she says.



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