H1N1 vaccination shortages give health services headaches

By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor

By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor

Vaccinations! Get your free vaccinations!

H1N1 flu vaccinations were given out for free Nov. 10 to anyone who came through the door from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No other medical appointments were taken as the entire day was dedicated to distributing the H1N1 vaccines as well as giving out the $10 seasonal flu vaccines.

Monique Caro, student at RCC, had mixed emotions towards the vaccines. “It depends at how you look at it. I’m sure it’s good for some individuals, but people will get sick no matter what, sometimes even from the vaccine,” Caro said. “It really depends on how you take care of yourself.”

Between the three campuses a total of 1600 vaccinations were supposed to be available, however campuses ended up 1200 short.

Director of health services, Renee Kimberling, said that throughout the district the 400 vaccinations were given out to the students and staff members of all three RCC campuses.
The Riverside campus received 250 vaccines, Moreno Valley received 75 and Norco received 50. The distribution of the vaccinations to the three campuses was administered by the State of California and came from the company calpanflu.org, the official organization where vaccines are ordered and approved by the state to be shipped.The vaccinations were given out in hospital clinics to all students, faculty, staff and adult family members until the supply was exhausted.

“We didn’t turn anyone away,” Kimberling said. “I hope that when more vaccinations are received all students and staff will get vaccinated.”

Kimberling stated specific groups of people who are encouraged to get vaccinated are those who live with or provide care for infants younger than six months, health care and emergency medical services personnel, people six months through 24 years of age, and people 25 years through 64 years of age who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications such as diabetes or asthma.

Despite the recommendations for pregnant women to get immunized, vaccines were not specifically prepared for this group. Women who are breastfeeding and young children were not admitted.

Additional vaccinations are expected to be delivered to all campuses soon. When the RCC health services receives a date as to when the remaining vaccinations will be received, an email will go out notifying students and staff members as to where and when they can receive the vaccine.

To avoid risk in the meantime, remember to cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water when washing hands, and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth as often as possible.