NEWPORT, R.I. - The Rhode Island Department of Health will begin to provide H1N1 vaccine to colleges and universities for student clinics the week of Nov. 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 Nov. 30, all colleges, universities and technical schools in the state will hold clinics for students through age 24 who are enrolled at those institutions.
“We’re notifying all students eligible to receive the vaccine (enrolled students ages 18-24) today via e-mail about the upcoming clinics on our campus, which will be administered by The Wellness Company of Providence and our Health Services Department,” said Matt Boxler, media relations officer. “We have tentatively scheduled the H1N1 vaccination clinics to take place in the Rodgers Recreation Center on Dec. 3 and 4, Dec. 10 and 11, and Dec. 14-15. The clinics will be run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a one-hour break in the middle."
All eligible Salve Regina students will be asked to complete an online form to indicate their interest in participating in the clinics and also, whether they have any pre-existing health conditions that would warrant them receiving the injectable vaccine rather than the mist.
This registration period is tentatively scheduled to take place beginning at noon today through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, students will be notified, via e-mail, the date which they may receive the H1N1 vaccine, along with further instructions. Should demand for the vaccine exceed supply, a lottery system will be used to determine which students will receive the vaccine during this initial round of clinics. To receive the vaccine, all students must complete the DOH consent form.
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 Nov. 30 and continue through Dec. 18.
Phase two will focus on schools with non-residential student populations (commuter) and will be held the week of Dec. 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.