Bethel held its first H1N1 vaccination clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Since then, three more clinics have been held. According to Wellness Center Director Mary Fulton, over 200 students received their vaccination during the clinics on Nov. 10 and 11, and more were expected to get the shot this past week.
According to senior nursing student, Crystal Lane, the school received 500 doses of the vaccine to distribute among students, faculty and staff.
“They expect all 500 of the doses to be used because the vaccine is free and people are concerned about getting the flu,” Lane said.
Senior Laura Miller decided to get the vaccine.
“It didn’t hurt at all, just makes your arm a little sore,” she said. “I got it because it was free.”
Freshman Katie Schlemmer shared Miller’s sentiment.
“If someone gives you free cookies, you take them,” said Schlemmer.
Junior Korey Hostetter decided to get the vaccine because she is an elementary education major and works in the schools.
“I am also a freshmen RA, and freshmen are unclean,” she said.
Many students still chose not to receive the free vaccine.
“I am not very big on medications,” said freshman Nolan Dodge. “Sometimes you need them, but most of the time you don’t. There isn’t a big chance of you dying from it (H1N1), so I don’t find the need to get the vaccine.”
Others were unsure of the newness of the vaccine.
“I don’t think enough testing was done,” said sophomore nursing student Megan Cobler. “Most vaccines take a long time to perfect. I feel this shot was made to give people a peace of mind, because people were so worried about it (swine flu).”
Fulton says that the H1N1 vaccination is not much different than the seasonal flu vaccine.
“The vaccine was made the same way we’ve made the flu vaccine for the past 30 years,” Fulton said. “Had the pandemic started a few months earlier, H1N1 would’ve been included with the seasonal flu shot and probably will be in the seasonal flu vaccine next year.”
According to Fulton, there is, as with any vaccine, the risk of mild reactions.
“With H1N1, some may experience mild symptoms of headache, muscle aches, fever or nausea,” Fulton said. “The symptoms may begin soon after the shot and are usually mild, lasting only a day or two.”
Fulton reassures that severe reactions are possible, but are usually rare.
“I would encourage the students to get vaccinated,” said Fulton.
Fulton explained that it is “easier and more cost effective to prevent the disease than treat it.”
Lane also encouraged students to get the vaccine.
“It is important for people to get the vaccine especially while living on campus,” Lane said. “If one person gets it and it spreads like fire.”
Fulton said that the school is offering the H1N1 shots so that the vaccine is more accessible to students and staff.
“It also helps relieve the local health department from the burden of having more people at their clinics,’ Fulton said.
Students who missed the clinics, can still get the shot by calling the Wellness Center at 807-7370 and making an appointment.