H1N1 Vaccines Arrive
After going two months without any H1N1 vaccines, The New School has at last received additional doses to cover student demand.
Last October, the university ordered 700 doses of H1N1 vaccination from the NYC Department of Health, the maximum doses allotted. However, the university only received about 300 of the 700 vaccines, which it provided to students for free before running out at the start of November. University health officials expressed frustration with the city’s health department, but explained there was little that they could do to make up the shortfall.
"Their answer was always that we were in the queue and would at some point receive the rest," said Jayne Jordan, director of medical services at The New School. "They said decisions to send additional vaccines were made based on the number of doses reported to the citywide immunization registry, which is required for all H1N1 vaccines given.”
When the university began to run low on vaccines, it reported to the immunization registry, the city’s immunization record keeping system that monitors the status of individual immunization levels. Medical services also called the Department of Health on a weekly basis in hopes of receiving more doses before the end of the term. At last, in the end of December, 300 more vaccines, syringes, needles, and alcohol pads arrived.
Though medical services updated the school's H1N1 website and called students who had been originally scheduled to receive the shot last term, Jordan says that so far students haven’t called or shown up to get vaccinated the way they had the first time around.
Jordan believes a potential drop-off in cases may have diminished the demand for vaccines or that not as many students were around last month as before. In December there were more than 50 reported cases of H1N1 across the university. In January there was one. “So we'll see what happens for February,” she said.
University health officials report no adverse affects from the 400 vaccines already distributed.