University to host H1N1 clinic

The University of Lethbridge is able to offer its students, staff and faculty the opportunity to be immunized with the H1N1 vaccine at a free H1N1 clinic scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the track of the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness.

Students, staff and faculty of the University of Lethbridge are eligible to receive their free H1N1 vaccinations with a valid University identification card as well as an Alberta Health Care card number. These must be provided in order to receive the shot.

It is expected greater than 25 stations will be set up to administer the shots over the span of the six-hour clinic, with thousands expected to be vaccinated in the one-day time period.

"We have been in discussions for some time to get post secondary institutions like ours access to the H1N1 vaccine so that we could offer a clinic to the University community," says U of L Health Centre manager Lori Weber, RN. "Our student group is an at-risk population and it's very important they be given the opportunity to be vaccinated."

Weber adds that it was essential the University community be given access to a clinic before the Christmas break, when many students will return home for the holidays and could be exposed to a whole new round of H1N1 sufferers.

"We are at a lull right now and the number of cases throughout southern Alberta has been on the decline," says Weber. "But people should not be complacent thinking this is over. It is expected a third wave of the disease will hit hard in the new year, and if we can protect as many people as possible on campus by virtue of them getting vaccinated, it will help us deal with the expected re-emergence of the virus in January 2010."

Open access clinics have been made available to the general public by Alberta Health Services in recent weeks, but to bring the vaccine on site was preferable.
"Many of our students do not have the time or means to go across the city to wait in lines to receive their shots," Weber says. "Staff and faculty often cannot take time away from their jobs to attend these clinics. By bringing a clinic on site, it allows us to reach a much larger percentage of our community. Please come out on Dec. 7 to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus and avoid bringing home (or getting) unexpected Christmas gifts!"