LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - According to McNeese officials, the university has been offering the H1N1 vaccine for the last two and half weeks. But only a third of the available vaccines have been administered to McNeese students.
The first doses given were the nasal mist vaccines. A shipment of injectable vaccines arrived last Tuesday.
In all, the university received 3600 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. According to Dean of Student Services, Toby Osburn, as of Sunday afternoon, only 1200 doses had been administered.
Osburn says even before the university received any shipments, they launched an awareness campaign to get the word out to students. Osburn says international students have been really concerned about the H1N1 virus. Other students, he guessed, were unaware of the dangers posed by H1N1. Osburn said some students may even be more afraid of the vaccine than the virus, due to side effects some vaccines have.
McNeese student Bryan Davis says some of his peers might very well be afraid of the vaccine. Others he says, probably aren't aware about H1N1.
Still, Davis says he does not plan on getting the vaccine. Davis says he and his friends just don't feel like they need the vaccine, since H1N1 is not a widespread problem in Louisiana as it is in some parts of the country.
This is the final week the university will offer free H1N1 vaccinations. After that, the vast majority of unadministered doses will be sent back to the distributor, as CDC rules call for.
Any student, staff or faculty member who wants to get vaccinated should visit the Community Health Clinic from 3pm to 7pm Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday the week of November 9th.
To learn more about the H1N1 virus, McNeese officials have set up a site with more information about the virus and tips to prevent contracting it.