University Park registered as H1N1 vaccination site

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's University Park campus is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health as an H1N1 vaccination site for students.

"We have not yet received confirmation that we will be a PUSH site for the vaccinations, but we fully expect that to happen," said Margaret Spear, director of University Health Services (UHS). "We volunteered because of our high concentration of the population most affected by the virus – those up to age 24." A PUSH site is what the Department of Health calls a mass immunization clinic.

The Bryce Jordan Center is the most probable site of the vaccination distribution, because logistically it can handle a much higher traffic load than University Health Services. The University expects to receive enough vaccinations to inoculate all eligible students who wish to be vaccinated, Spear said.

"We want to be able to distribute the vaccine as efficiently as possible once we get it, so we need a place that can accommodate the high number of people who will be coming and going in a short span of time," Spear said. “The vaccinations will be given by UHS staff, faculty and senior nursing students from the College of Nursing. We are involving student volunteers to help us with other aspects of the process, such as traffic control and forms processing. We still need more students to help us with the staffing."

Volunteers do not have to have a medical related major. Spear estimates they'll need 180 students working each day the vaccinations are distributed, although she does not yet know how many days the site will be operational. "A lot of this planning will have to take place quickly after the state lets us know what we can expect in the way of the number of doses we'll receive," she said.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Doris Guanowsky, senior associate director at UHS, at dxg7@psu.edu.

If confirmed as a distribution site, Penn State would be delivering vaccines to students up to age 24, as well as to students between the ages of 24 and 65 with an underlying health condition (asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) or who are pregnant or immune-compromised. Faculty and staff should contact their health care provider to see if the provider pre-registered as an administration site. If their provider did not, they can call 877-PA-Health or go to H1N1inPA.com to find administration sites open to the public when the vaccine becomes available.

If University Health Services is approved as a distribution site, Guanowsky hopes to receive up to 40,000 doses, which should cover the target population.

"Initially we expect the H1N1 vaccine supply to be limited in supply, but based on information provided by the CDC we estimate that we will have more than 2.5 million doses in various forms of the vaccine by the end of October. So we expect to have enough vaccine for everyone in the target group who wants to be vaccinated," said Doug Koszalka, Pennsylvania Department of Health district executive director.

For more information about H1N1, visit http://flu.psu.edu/ online.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010