College students urged to get H1N1 vaccine

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Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:

College students urged to get H1N1 vaccine
Both injectable and nasal spray vaccine offered at Carew

Local college students who are at high-risk for getting the H1N1 flu are being strongly urged to get vaccinated.

Students and young people are not typically the major targets for the vaccine for seasonal flu, which usually affects infants, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions. College-aged peoples are, however, among the highest risk group for contracting the H1N1 virus.

Since Sept, 1, almost half of the known cases of H1N1 in Indiana have been in the 19-24 age group.

Although young adults are one of the highest risk groups for contracting the virus, they are among the least likely to seek out the vaccination. Health officials believe an attitude of invincibility and concerns about vaccine safety are among the reasons college-aged people might not get the vaccine.

Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan says it is important that parents make sure their college-aged children get vaccinated during the semester break.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season,” she said. “You cannot get the flu from a vaccine and this vaccine is made just like all other flu vaccines. It is safe and effective.”

Some area colleges and universities have offered vaccination clinics for students and staff members who belong to one of the high-risk priority groups identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine is also available for free at the health department’s Carew Medical Park clinic, 1818 Carew St.

The clinic is open today from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and again on Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both H1N1 injectable and nasal spray vaccine is again available to those who qualify. Seasonal flu vaccine for children and young people 6 months to 18 years of age is being offered while supplies last.

More than 18,900 people have been vaccinated for H1N1 flu since the clinic opened on Oct. 9.

For more information, go to or call 2-1-1.


Vaccines available at the Carew Medical Park clinic

Individuals within the following priority groups are currently eligible for H1N1 vaccination:

  • pregnant women
  • people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age
  • children and young people from 6 months old to 24 years old*
  • adults age 25 through 64 with chronic health conditions
  • health care and emergency medical services personnel, including pharmacy and dental workers

* Children under the age of 10 will need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, four weeks apart, to be fully protected.

H1N1 vaccine (injectable)

  • For pregnant women
  • For persons of any age who live with or provide care for infants less than six months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
  • For children and young people age 6 months through 24 years of age
  • For adults age 25 through 64 with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease
  • If a person is ill with a fever, he or she cannot get the vaccine
  • No child younger than six months can get the vaccine

H1N1 FluMist vaccine (nasal spray)

  • For healthy children and young adults 2 to 24 years of age who do not have underlying health conditions
  • For persons up to age 49 who live with or provide care for infants less than six months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
  • No child younger than 2 years of age can get this vaccine
  • No adult older than 49 can get this vaccine
  • If a person has had any live vaccine such as the MMR, Varicella (chickenpox) or the seasonal flu mist vaccine in the last 28 days, he or she cannot receive the H1N1 FluMist vaccine

Seasonal Flu vaccine (injectable)

  • For children 6 months to 18 years of age
  • No child younger than six months can get the vaccine

Children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with notarized documentation).

Anyone experiencing symptoms of influenza such as a fever, a sore throat and dry cough should stay home and contact a health care provider. People can also limit the spread of flu by covering their cough, washing their hands and avoiding others who appear to be sick.

Be a Flu Fighter!
Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you cough or sneeze

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