‘Compromised’ students receive H1N1 vaccine

According to Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9, 240 students showing flu-like symptoms went to Health Services. As of Monday, four were in isolation awaiting transportation home.

A limited number of H1N1 vaccines were administered yesterday at Student Health Services to parent- or self-identified “compromised students,” according to an e-mail sent to these students last Friday afternoon.

Director of Health Services Kathryn Macaione has worked at Quinnipiac for almost 40 years, but last Tuesday, when more than 50 students went to Health Services, was something brand new for her.

“I’ve never, ever had a day like that day,” she told The Chronicle last Thursday.

But Macaione, alongside Joe Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities administration, has been working with the Connecticut Department of Health to keep up with the latest on H1N1 prevention and treatment.

“As we move forward with this, the H1N1 vaccine is going to become more plentiful,” Rubertone said. “We are keeping our oar in the water there, to get some of these doses to make them available.”

The first to receive the vaccine would be Macaione’s staff and compromised students, Macaione said.

While the next step in dealing with H1N1 has not been discussed specifically, Rubertone mentioned making use of the five weeks during winter break, Thanksgiving break and even spring break to make up time.

“It’s possible we could even go into some Saturday classes,” he said. “We haven’t really broached that. What we’re trying to do with this isolation ward is keep us from going to that stage.”

“I would personally like to correlate the 50 sick ones over the weekend to how many took the bus to New Haven Thursday and Friday night,” Rubertone said. “But we won’t do that.”

“And how many are going to be out there tonight, waiting to go to Toad’s, sitting on top of each other?” Macaione asked with a laugh.

When asked if Macaione expected the same spike following this weekend, she did not know.

“I would hope not,” she said.

According to Macaione, no specific group or dormitory has been hit especially hard by the flu.

“They’re all over,” she said. “Even off-campus housing, commuters, graduate students. It’s been the whole gamut.”