Dec 8, 2009

Vaccine free for students

by Lee Sandy

For anyone who was fortunate enough to miss out on swine flu during the fall semester, a second outbreak is expected next month. Such a resurgence of the swine flu pandemic could catch many off guard. Fortunately for Liberty students, H1N1 vaccinations are now available for free through Light Medical.

Liberty has announced on its splash page that the H1N1 “swine flu” virus immunization shot is available to all students and to “faculty and staff members with chronic health problems such as asthma and immune compromising disorders,” according to liberty.edu.

Director of Student Health Services Dr. Richard Lane was at Light Medical for Tuesday’s first day of appointments.

“We received 1,500 doses from the state and have already given out about one-third of these,” Lane said. “We are hoping to give out the (other shots) between the Tuesday clinics and to larger campus groups, where it is easy to reach a sizable group of students in a single setting in the next two weeks.”

Lane said it would be wise for students to take advantage of this immunization effort, because the second wave of swine flu is expected after students return from break in January.

“February is traditionally our highest flu case loads,” Lane said. “So now is a good time to get (vaccinated), especially if a student managed to miss the first wave of swine flu.”

Light Medical is leading the effort in cooperation with the Department of Nursing, providing nursing students with the opportunity and experience to give H1N1 vaccinations. Professor Kathryn Miller from the Department of Nursing is working with Lane to sign up a number of nursing students to assist in the administration of the shots.

“Twenty nursing students, juniors and seniors, will be volunteering their time to Light Medical as part of their ministry in nursing,” Miller said. “The students will be giving the vaccines and educating the patients on community health issues related to H1N1 treatment and prevention.”

Nursing students will be able to use this experience as part of their Liberty Nursing Student Association, or LNSA participation, but Miller said that the main reason behind the student assistance was in ministering to their local community and fellow students.

“We believe that nursing gives us the unique opportunity to minister to others in a special way,” Miller said. “We want to always use our talent to give back to our community and bring glory to God in so doing.”

The decision to make the shots free was made after administration charges had been waived. Shots are to be administered Dec. 8 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. at special flu vaccine clinics at Light Medical in Campus North.

Contact Lee Sandy at
rasandy@liberty.edu
 


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