250 vaccinated for swine flu

The swine flu vaccine is now available for high-risk students, YUHS Director Paul Genecin said in an e-mail to the News Friday.

While the vaccine was previously available only for pregnant women and children ages two to five, Genecin said students with asthma and other at-risk conditions should call University Student Health Services as soon as possible to get the vaccine.

Because YUHS vaccinates people as soon as shipments of H1N1 vaccine arrive, Genecin said he was unsure how many vaccines YUHS had on hand, but added that it was in “very short supply.”

YUHS vaccinated roughly 250 people against swine flu last week, Genecin said.

Jennifer Fischer ’12, who has asthma, received an e-mail from YUHS on Friday notifying her that swine flu vaccine was available for high-risk students.

“I had e-mailed them a couple times this semester because my doctor was freaking out that I hadn’t been vaccinated yet,” Fischer said.

Karissa Britten ’12, who has an autoimmune disorder, said she did not receive an e-mail. Because she is not treated at Yale, Britten said her doctor mailed a prescription to YUHS so that she would be considered as a high-risk student.

The Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that vaccine availability nationwide will fall short of projections by about two million doses this week. Connecticut Department of Public Health epidemiologist Matthew Carter said in an e-mail to the YUHS Pharmacy (which Genecin provided to the News) that the shortfall was caused by production delays at one manufacturer of the swine flu vaccine.

“It is important to note that these doses are not ‘lost’, just delayed,” Carter said.

Other Ivy League universities are facing similar shortages of swine flu vaccine. The Daily Princetonian reported Friday that Princeton University had vaccinated about 400 students and their children, but that vaccines are still available only for high-risk groups. Columbia University Health Services announced Friday that it will make vaccines available to pregnant women and high-risk people between the ages of 25 and 64.

According to the CDC, people who suspect they have swine flu and experience shortness of breath, chest pain, sudden dizziness and severe vomiting should seek immediate medical attention.

Correction: Nov. 16, 2009

Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article misreported that shortness of breath, chest pain, sudden dizziness and severe vomiting are normal symptoms of swine flu. In fact, the CDC says that anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

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