H1N1 shots draw 415 UH students


POSTED: Friday, January 15, 2010

Dr. Andrew Nichols said he had no idea how many University of Hawaii-Manoa students would show up for an H1N1 influenza vaccine immunization clinic, but he hoped for several hundred.

The UH-Manoa head team physician and interim director of University Health Services Manoa got his wish and then some.

Students were in line around 8:10 a.m. yesterday, waiting for the clinic at 1710 East-West Road to open at 8:30 a.m. “;Once we were set up and ready to go, we started letting them in,”; Nichols said.

By the time the H1N1 clinic closed at 12:30 p.m., taking the last 10 people in line, 415 students had received H1N1 influenza (swine flu) shots.

“;Other than a little computer problem, everything worked smoothly. I don't think it was ready for this many (patients),”; Nichols said, noting the clinic averages about 125 visits a day.

“;We're very pleased with the number of students who came to get their immunizations ... and we're going to continue to encourage people to come to the clinic to get their shots,”; he said, adding that he hopes to offer H1N1 vaccinations next week to UH-Manoa faculty and staff. “;There has been a lot of interest among them.”;

Nichols said the clinic had been taking appointments for vaccinations since summer under state and federal guidelines limiting the vaccine to priority groups.





        Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children will hold a free H1N1 flu vaccine clinic for the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow on the first floor of the Bingham Building. Limited free parking will be available.



They included pregnant women, people who live with or care for infants under age 6 months, health care and emergency medical services personnel, children and young adults 6 months through 24 years and anyone 25 through 64 with medical conditions putting them at risk for influenza-related complications.

Nichols said “;it really helped”; when the state Department of Health opened vaccinations to everyone Monday. The Manoa clinic received 2,000 doses of preservative-free vaccine, and six doctors and four nurses were on hand yesterday for the immunizations.

Students moved fairly quickly in and out of the clinic, with 15 to 20 minutes in line and a five-minute wait after the shot to make sure they were OK.

Bryan Guerra, 22, a Kapiolani Community College art student, sat on a bench facing students in line with a sign saying, “;Please Don't Take the Shot.”;

He said he wanted people to be aware of “;the possibilities and the risks. ... It's really unhealthy for you. It's toxic. I'm just hoping people are informed.”;

Ashley Karinja, 23, and Gwen Himeda, 34, graduate students in education, said they wanted to protect themselves from the flu because they work with children.

Josette Marsh, a Realtor for Prudential Locations and a graduate student majoring in French, said she received an e-mail that the vaccine was available and free. “;I travel a lot. I thought it was prudent to go ahead and get a shot.”;

“;There was a lot of hype in the news last year about it (H1N1) killing people,”; said Tim Roy, a 24-year-old civil engineering graduate student. “;I'm not concerned I will be so ill I'll die, but I don't like getting sick. It's not fun.”;