1,500 Swine flu vaccines arrive

After weeks of delayed shipments and rationed vaccinations, Yale will inoculate students for swine flu at two clinics Wednesday and Thursday, University Health Services announced Monday.

The University received 1,500 doses of swine flu vaccine from the Connecticut Department of Public Health Monday, YUHS Director Paul Genecin said Monday. While 300 doses were reserved for students in high-risk groups — which include students with asthma, diabetes and other conditions — any student can register online for the vaccination clinics, Genecin said.

Three hours after the YUHS announcement, online registration for the clinics closed after all vaccines were claimed. The registration Web site buckled under the surge of traffic, hindering some students who tried to access it.

Genecin said he was unsure when YUHS will receive more shipments of the vaccine but added that Yale has received far fewer vaccines that it had requested.

Both clinics will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday’s clinic will be held at YUHS, and Thursday’s clinic will be held at Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Although President Barack Obama declared swine flu a national emergency on Oct. 24, vaccine production has continued to lag behind expectations. The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that swine flu vaccine availability would fall short by two million doses this week because of production problems at one vaccine manufacturer. Health directors at three Ivy League schools said they face swine flu vaccine shortages because state governments have received fewer vaccines from the federal government than expected.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reported Monday that the University of Pennsylvania has vaccinated at least 3,000 students for swine flu. But Brown University has yet to receive any vaccines, Lynn Dupont, the associate director of Brown University Health Services, said. Dupont added that Brown expected to receive a shipment by early December.

The Daily Princetonian reported Friday that Princeton University Health Services planned to vaccinate 2,000 high-risk students at a clinic Monday, in addition to the roughly 400 students and children they had already vaccinated.

Dartmouth College has vaccinated 527 students and 111 health services employees, John Turco, the director of Dartmouth College Health Services, said. While Dartmouth wanted to vaccinate high-risk children ages 2 to 5, Turco said, it initially received nasal spray vaccines, which are unsuitable for children with certain conditions because they contain live viruses. Dartmouth instead used the doses to vaccinate its health service employees, Turco said.

While government officials in New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York said they had received fewer vaccines than requested from the federal government, there was no shortage of vaccines. They said they expected more vaccines to arrive soon from the federal government.

“Of course we’d like more, but we’re getting the same proportion as every other state,” Nicola Whitley, a spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, said.

Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Health, said his state had not received all of the vaccinations it had requested, but added that vaccinations were arriving in stages.

As of Nov. 13, the federal government had shipped nearly 37 million doses of swine flu vaccines to state distributors.


  • bittersweet

    While I am thrilled that these vaccines have arrived, I was pretty disappointed with how YUHS administered admission to these clinics. I was able to get a spot, but it would have been nice to have a check-box on the online registration to recognize people who actually have complicating factors (asthma, etc.) that necessitate getting vaccinated before others. Instead, the instructions basically implied, “Anyone can get a vaccine, but if you’re at high risk, well, you should probably sign up now before the spots are gone.”

    Also, e-mailing immunization@yale.edu only got me an auto-reply away message dated 9/2/2009.

  • ReadyMom

    Students who have NOT been vaccinated should consider having a ‘Flu Kit’ in their dorm rooms. These kits should include items you would want to have on hand in case you become ill and your health center is closed. Kits should include:
    Have your college student store the box in a safe place, but somewhere where they can get it, if they wake up feeling ill. (Maybe under the bed or in a nearby desk. Small dorms require some creativity). Items to include:

    ==N95 Masks (several styles) (for the student to wear if someone visits to help care for them!).
    ==Instructions for wearing a mask (Link to PDF: http://tinyurl.com/ktcyhx )
    ==Latex free gloves
    ==Instructions for proper removal of gloves
    ==Hand sanitizer (60+ % alcohol)
    ==Disposable Thermometers
    ==Cough & Cold Med
    ==Pain Relief (Tylenol)
    ==Anti Nausea
    ==Home Care Guide–Useful sources to choose from:

    =====Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home’ (CDC Guidance)
    ======‘Citizen’s Guide to Pandemic Influenza’ (the Flu Manual), Chapter 3, Jane & Peter Carpenter
    ======‘Good Home Treatment of Influenza’, Dr.Gratton Woodson, MD,FACP

    ==Instant chicken soup cups
    ==Gatorade, PowerAde, or Pedialyte beverage (to rehydrate & replace lost electrolytes)
    ==Sip cup w/ straws