Ohio University will hold an array of 2009 H1N1 vaccination clinics for all Ohio University faculty, staff, students and dependents during National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), which runs from Jan. 10 through Jan. 16.
Athens City-County Health Commissioner James Gaskell stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against H1N1 in order to prevent the spread of the disease. This is especially important for people in designated risk groups, including young adults under the age of 25, who are particularly vulnerable to H1N1.
"We don?t know that this pandemic is over. There is still a mortality rate associated with it," Gaskell said. "At the present time there has been a decrease in the amount of illness, but we are concerned that there might be another surge."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is already higher than what is seen during the peak of many regular flu seasons, with H1N1 as the most common flu virus circulating so far. As a result, the CDC recommends that people receive the vaccine as the most effective means of protecting themselves and the ones they love from influenza. So far, millions of people have already safely received the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
"The CDC hasn?t had reports of serious side effects from the H1N1 (vaccine)," Gaskell said. "The risks of the disease far outweigh the risks of the vaccine."
The first of the university?s 2009 H1N1 vaccination clinics this week will take place on Sunday, Jan. 10 at the Walter Hall rotunda from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The university will also hold clinics from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Parks Hall 014 each day from Jan. 11 through Jan. 15.
At the weekday clinics, the university will administer the vaccine to no more than 100 individuals per clinic. The Sunday clinic will not have a patient limit.
There are no health or age restrictions for receiving the vaccine and no pre-registration or charge for the vaccination clinics. For more information about H1N1 and the clinic schedule, please visit the university?s H1N1 Web site at www.ohio.edu/h1n1.
Click here for information about influenza vaccination clinics offered by the Athens City-County Health Department.