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April 11, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Students apathetic about H1N1 vaccine

To prevent illnesses, junior Chelsea Dobbs washes her hands more often. In class, she avoids touching her face to stop the spread of germs.

However, Dobbs, like many students at the University, is not interested in getting the H1N1 vaccination.

‘I’m just not that worried about it I guess, ‘ she said. ‘I just try to take what precautions I can and not worry about it.’

She said this seems to be the case with other students too.

‘It is either one extreme or the other,’ she said.

‘Either they are crazy about it and have to get it, or they don’t think it is that big of a deal.’

Barb Hoffman, director of health services, said students have not been very interested in obtaining the free vaccinations the Student Health Center has been giving out this week.

Of 1,000 vaccinations received, only 500 of those have been used since the clinics began on Monday, she said.

Pat Snyder, public information officer for the Wood County Health Department, said the health department has administered over 6,000 vaccinations since October 15th.

‘Many of our clinics, we average around 1000 doses total for the whole day,’ she said. ‘We’ve always had plenty of the flu mist form of the vaccine, but we have run out of the shot form of the vaccine at a couple of our clinics.’

Hoffman said only about 80 students used the shuttles that transported students to those clinics, but she was unsure how many drove themselves.

She said she was not sure why students did not seem to be interested.

Some students, like senior Trey Howard, feel the vaccination is not safe to take. Howard said he had heard people were having bad side effects.

‘I figure I’ll take my chances,’ he said.

Junior Steven Topper, who did not get the vaccine, said he was not concerned about side effects but that he saw a video on Youtube that showed a woman who suffered side effects after getting a flu shot.

‘This girl got the flu vaccine and she can’t function unless she is running or walking backwards,’ he said. ‘It’s just weird and it is really funny to watch, but at the same time, it is really sad.’

The woman he was speaking of, Desiree Jennings, allegedly developed dystonia after receiving a seasonal flu shot. According to the National Institute of Health’s Website, dystonia is a movement disorder that causes muscles to involuntarily contract.

Hoffman said there are differences between the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. Jennings was also likely a rare case, she said.

‘It is a shame that this one bizarre case could have an impact that could lead to deaths from not getting the vaccine,’ she said.

Hoffman said the vaccine is considered safe by the CDC and approved by the FDA. The vaccine is created and distributed by the United States government, which is why the vaccine is being given out for free, she said.

Hoffman said that while trying to prevent the disease by washing your hands often is a good idea, it is not always enough.

‘When you are living in an environment, like we are, where you have so many people in such close proximity, where you have people who do not wash their hands, who cough or sneeze in to their hands…it is so easy to transmit a virus,’ she said. ‘You have to take good care of yourself, and part of taking good care of yourself is getting the vaccines you need to protect yourself.”

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