The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) will begin to provide H1N1 vaccine to colleges and universities for student clinics the week of November 30. Each college and university will work with The Wellness Company to design the clinic(s) for their respective campus. Over the three-week period beginning November 30, all colleges, universities and technical schools in the state will hold clinics for students through age 24 who are enrolled at those institutions. Due to vaccine availability, college clinics will be scheduled in two phases.
The first phase of clinics will target the nine colleges and universities with residence halls and on-campus housing. Students who live in close, congregate settings are considered to be at higher risk for spreading influenza virus. The nine colleges/universities in phase one are Brown University, Bryant University, Johnson and Wales, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University and University of Rhode Island. These clinics will take place on campuses and are scheduled to start the week of November 30 and continue through December 18.
Phase two will focus on schools with non-residential student populations (commuter) and will be held the week of December 14. These clinics will be for students, through age 24, who are currently enrolled at Community College of Rhode Island (all campuses), Lincoln Technical Institute, New England Institute of Technology and the Providence campus of URI.
“Getting vaccinated is the best and easiest way to protect yourself and others from the flu,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “While we may have seen the peak of H1N1 activity this fall, we know that H1N1 will continue to spread throughout flu season, and we want students to be protected before they travel home for semester break.”
HEALTH and The Wellness Company will work with colleges and universities to coordinate clinics. Students must complete a consent form in order to be vaccinated and should return the consent form before the clinic. (To download a consent form, visit http://www.health.ri.gov.) Each school will notify students regarding dates and times of clinics and where to return consent forms. Students may only receive the H1N1 vaccine at the school in which they are currently enrolled. Adults through age 24 who are not enrolled in college will have an opportunity to be vaccinated at a later date. For more information, call HEALTH’s H1N1 Information Line at (401) 222-8022 or visit http://www.health.ri.gov.