Students receive H1N1 vaccine as activity drops

Despite figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) that suggest H1N1 transmission levels in North America are “declining substantially,” vaccines for the disease were given at JC on December 17.

The Harford County Health Department visited campus as part of a plan to offer vaccinations free of charge at all schools in Harford County.

According to school nurse Laura Frank, approximately 246 students were vaccinated.

Junior Rachael Dinsmore said, “I think it’s a good thing they’re doing because it stops an infectious spread.”

Frank explained that although she is happy with the number of students who chose to be vaccinated, she wishes there had been more. “They’re calling for another wave [of the H1N1 virus] in January. If people get vaccinated now, they’ll be ready,” she said.

Lisa Swank of the Harford County Health Department said the vaccination should be especially important for JC students to get because of “the outbreak” at the school.

“It’s a disease that targets school kids,” said Frank. “Even though most recover, some don’t.”

Debbie Fisher of the Harford County Health Department, who gave vaccinations on Thursday, agrees with WHO statistics. “It seems to be peaking,” said Fisher.

Swank said that the recent recall of 800,000 children’s H1N1 vaccines due to lack of strength did not affect the vaccines used by the Harford County Health Department.

Besides visiting both public and private schools, the Health Department held free, public vaccination clinics on Friday, December 18 and Monday, December 21. According to Swank, all appointments for the clinics were filled.

Besides getting vaccinated, Frank recommends keeping up with practices that stop spreading the flu, such as sanitizing, washing hands, and coughing and sneezing into sleeves.

For more information about where future H1N1 vaccinations will be offered, visit harfordcountyhealth.com.

Collin Hoofnagle can be reached for comment at c[email protected].