Flu vaccine scarcer
than expected
Posted December 9, 2005

Marilee Lorusso
Staff Writer

With the flu season in full swing, the University of La Verne Student Health Center did not receive the full amount of doses of flu vaccine as expected.

Director of the Student Health Center Cindy Denne said, because of an issue the supplier had with the distributor, the health center did not receive all of the doses ordered. The issue was linked with Food and Drug Administration approval.

Denne said that the health center only received 20 doses out of the 120 doses that were ordered. The doses came from a manufacturer that is out of the country. When the supplier received the doses in the United States, the orders were broken down and sent out according to the order date.

“It came in at small dribbles,” Denne said.

With a limited amount of the vaccine, the health center is distributing it only to those who are considered high risk. High risk means those who are elderly and anyone who has a serious health concern including heart disease, lung disease and any other long-term health problems.

“It’s important for people who fit into the high risk category,” Denne said of the vaccine. “We have a healthy population (on campus).”

The health center sent out e-mails to the La Verne community as well as the students on campus to notify them about the vaccine shortage.

“We were very upfront,” Denne said.

The health center has not had any issues with students so far about not being able to receive the vaccine.

Maureen Shook, one of the University’s physicians, said that the health center has only received around 10 calls regarding the issue. They have just directed the callers to see their family doctors, health department and senior centers.

Most students are not too worried about not being able to get the flu vaccine and opt not to.

“If the University didn’t say from the beginning that they would supply the [flu vaccine] to us, then I don’t feel that they are solely responsible to supply it to us,” Destiny Verdugo, sophomore sociology major said.

For students who are concerned, there are ways to help prevent the flu.

“The most important thing for our students is what to do to avoid the flu,” Denne said. “In order to prevent contact and the spread of the flu, the biggest thing is to wash their hands.”

Denne also said that students should get a lot of rest, drink lots of liquids and eat healthy in order to help prevent the flu.

“I’m preventing the flu by not really sharing drinks with other people and washing my hands constantly,” Verdugo said.

The health center has posted a link to the Centers for Disease Control’s Web site for more information on the flu.

The Web site lists symptoms of the flu, which include fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. If you do get the flu, the site also advises resting, drinking liquids, avoiding the use of alcohol and tobacco and taking medications to relieve symptoms of the flu.

For more information, contact the health center at Ext. 4254 or visit the
Centers for Disease Control Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.

Marilee Lorusso can be reached at mlorusso@ulv.edu.

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