Swine Flu vaccine coming to Skyline College

The Health Center, located in Building 2, is where the vaccines will be distributed to Skyline students and staff. (Leung, Rachel)

The Health Center, located in Building 2, is where the vaccines will be distributed to Skyline students and staff. (Leung, Rachel)

Vaccination for the H1N1 flu (Swine Flu) and the seasonal flu will be made available this October at the Skyline Health Center.

Vaccinations for H1N1 will be available for students at the Skyline Health Center by mid October, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Skyline administration. Seasonal flu vaccinations will begin the first week in October.

The date which the healthcare center will receive its supply of the H1N1 vaccine is unknown. Healthcare Staff have yet to receive an exact date to when they will be supplied with the Swine Flu vaccines.

Jan Gersonde of the Skyline Health Center said that she had yet to be informed of when the center would receive the H1N1 vaccine, and that the issue likely has to do with supply, although the San Mateo County Immunization Program has confirmed that Skyline College will be supplied with the Seasonal Influenza vaccine by the beginning of October.

Adults will only have to receive one vaccination to be protected from Swine Flu. Children under the age of 10, on the other hand, will have to receive two separate vaccinations of H1N1 vaccine. For scheduling purposes, planners should assume a separation of 3-4 weeks between the first and second vaccination.

The CDC reports that “The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) based on the 122 Cities Report was low and within the bounds of what is expected at this time of year.” On the other hand, 49 pediatric deaths related to swine flu have been reported since April 2009, with three of these deaths occurring last week.

Visits to doctors for influenza like illnesses (ILI) are increasing nation wide. The amount of ILI related doctor visits are higher than is usual for this time of the year, and has been increasing for six consecutive weeks.

Twenty-six states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. Any reports of widespread influenza activity in September are very unusual.

Swine flu spreads the same way common seasonal influenza viruses spread, mainly through the coughs and sneezes of those infected with the virus. It may also be spread by touching infected objects and then touching your nose or mouth.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that those exhibiting any influenza like symptoms to isolate themselves from other people and avoid going to work or school if possible. Sneezing into your arm instead of into your hands is considered the proper way to sneeze in order to prevent the spread of illness.