WT Gets H1N1 Vaccine

Dr. Jim Gibbs
Dr. Jim Gibbs

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Canyon, Texas - Some college students can finally protect themselves against the H1N1 flu with the vaccine, but doses are scarce.

The vaccine arrived at WTAMU just as the Texas Department of State Health Services came out to say people aged 5 to 24 years old are being added to the priority list.

500 doses of the vaccine are available for WT students by appointment, but is only a fraction of the 6,000 requested.  Getting just the 500, though, was a chore.

Dr. Jim Gibbs at Student Medical Services says, "we applied the very first opportunity and reapplied every week, that's the process. Up until now, we've not been approved for it. We got some at least now."

Dr. Gibbs says the student medical office has been bombarded with phone calls and walk ins hoping to get vaccinated.

He says even though some of the illness and hype surrounding it has died down, they are expecting another surge in the spring.  He says he hopes students will come in before this semester is over so they don't risk the chance for illness next spring.

Students we spoke with say they plan to get it and hope their classmates do as well.

Chris Hagan says, "even if you just get half the students, the other half of us would feel better and it reduces the chance of us getting it."

Another student, Kevin Schultz says he missed the seasonal flu shot but will go right away to get the H1N1 vaccine.

Student Chris Chiakpo says, "something like the swine flu infecting us, you know, we're in bed and we don't have the luxury of getting notes and sometimes the teacher understands, but still you're just one person."

The university hopes to get more vaccines soon.