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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Students Line Up for Flu Shots

Immersed in a book and propped up against the wall in Ballroom B at the Student Activities Center (SAC), Virginia Castracane planned to wait on a line, which stretched down the hall from the Traditions Lounge, for her H1N1 vaccination until she was turned away.

Castracane, a junior and business management major, is one of over 600 Stony Brook students who have received free H1N1 vaccinations, since the university started administering the vaccines at Points of Distribution (PODs), on the 21st. On Monday, another POD was set up for 12 hours in the SAC auditorium. The vaccine was available to students with Stony Brook IDs and between the ages of 18 and 24.

According to Larry Zacarese, assistant Chief of Police and POD coordinator, the university has ordered the maximum number of vaccinations that are available at this time. On Monday, the supply of injectable vaccinations was exhausted due to the large turnout, but intranasal vaccines were still available to those students who qualified.

The two POD’s were coordinated by University Police, Student Health Services and student volunteers. Unlike the seasonal flu vaccines, which were offered by Student Health Service for 10 dollars, the university decided to offer the injection for free in order to encourage students to get vaccinated, according to Rachel Bergeson, director of Student Health Services.

Offering the H1N1 vaccines is the university’s latest effort for combating the H1N1 virus, which has been targeting people in the 18-24 year old age group. According to the Center for Disease Control, 53 percent of H1N1 hospitalizations have fallen in this age group.

Jillian Kirk, a sophomore and psychology major was first on the line to receive the vaccination on the 21st. She said that she always gets vaccinated and found it especially important to do so this year, since the virus is affecting young people.

According to Bergeson, there have been confirmed swine flu cases on campus and the clinic has been seeing anywhere from zero to three cases daily.

‘Wash your hands a lot, cough into your elbow and stay home,’ said Christina Shen, a volunteer at the first POD and member of the Flu Task Force. The Flu Task Force is a group of students on campus who serve as peer educators on flu prevention.

Elizabeth Fievisohn, a biomedical engineering major, said she usually does not get vaccinated for the seasonal flu, but received the intranasal vaccination this year.

According to Bergeson, they are pushing the intranasal vaccine because it is shown to prevent the seasonal flu, as well as the H1N1 virus.

‘This is a big deal,’ Fievisohn said. ‘I am a senior and I want to get out. I don’t want to mess it up.’

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