H1N1 Vaccine Update: October 20

October 20, 2009

A delay in the delivery of H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines ordered by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has led to the postponement of school-based vaccine programs including the one planned for the College.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Dora Mills says the delay is being caused by a bottleneck in the vaccine manufacturing process due to the nationwide demand for the H1N1 flu vaccine.

The College is registered as a vaccine provider to facilitate delivery of the vaccine once it's available.

In the meantime, high-risk students (those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma) are being inoculated with the seasonal flu vaccine — a practice that will expand as the College's vaccine supply allows.

At this point, the number of students presenting with flu-like symptoms has sharply declined to the point where the Health Center is reporting only one or two cases on campus at any given time. Affected students continue to be treated in single rooms or in College-provided spaces.

The College will continue to provide weekly updates regarding the number of students exhibiting flu-like on Thursdays as the situation warrants.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with sleeve or elbow
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing

The College maintains a Web site that provides extensive information about the H1N1 virus, a link to Bowdoin's Epidemic Response Plan, and archived advisories for students and their families, faculty, staff and families with children at the Bowdoin College Children's Center.

Additional information is also available at these sites:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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