“Over 200 FAMU students on and off campus have been affected by the H1N1 virus,” said Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services.
The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine was delivered to local health clinics and the Leon County Health Department Friday.
Local health officials and volunteers started administrating the vaccine for the first priority group at 2965 Municipal Way Tuesday. First priority groups, include children 2 through 4 years old, emergency service workers and health care workers with direct contact to the virus and infant caregivers.
Laura Bradshaw, a second-year graduate pharmacy student and Project Leader of Operation Immunization said, “The H1N1 situation seems to be getting worse, but the vaccine is also limiting the virus.”
Bradshaw, 29, is working closely with the Student Health Center to encourage students to go out and get both the seasonal flu vaccine and also the H1N1 vaccine, because one vaccine does not protect from both of the strains.
Operation Immunization will host a fundraiser for vaccines and student awareness on Thursday at Tropical Smoothie on Magnolia Road from 4 p.m. to 7 pm. Ten percent of the proceeds from purchases will go to the organization.
“To prevent an epidemic in Leon County and around the U.S., the public needs to get vaccinated, and if they recognize the symptoms early and get treated that will also benefit them,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw hopes Operation Immunization will be able to provide swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines at FAMU’s annual health fair on Oct. 22 at FAMU Park.
Officials said pregnant women also receive the vaccine in the first priority group, but only in the inactivated shot version that will arrive soon to local health clinics and primary care providers.
The next priority group can be vaccinated as soon as more doses of the vaccine are delivered in the next few weeks. The two types of the vaccine are the FluMist nasal spray and the inactivated virus in shot form.
The vaccine will be free of charge. Over 100,000 FluMist vaccines are being delivered in Florida this week and Leon County will receive 1,100 doses of the nasal vaccine.
Vaccines will continue to be delivered without any expected shortages through January, according to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC reported that the vaccine has been carefully manufactured and been through a series of scientific trials before being released.
At first glance through a microscope, the H1N1 virus and Influenza look fairly similar. However, according to the CDC H1N1 has more potency to cause symptoms in the human host, and causes serious problems in the terminally ill and in those with low immune systems.
Officials urge consistent hand washing, using hand sanitizers and staying home when symptoms arise.
The vaccine will be administered on Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Florida Student Association Board of Directors hosted a discussion about higher education issues with Chancellor Frank Brogan Thursday inside the Florida A&M Student Senate Chambers.
The Student Government Association leaders within the State University System from all 11 universities met to discuss strategic ways to create a strong unifying system to better serve the 300,000 students within the State University System.
Brogan said the strategic plan focuses on three key issues: funding and productivity, faculty and students and accountability.
“We can begin to create a knowledge based economy by using our universities as a platform,” Brogan said.
Brogan said the recent passing of the differential tuition bill, allowing universities to raise tuition to gain more revenue, would allow sustainable growth for the public universities in Florida.
“This allows a business plan that goes beyond one year,” Brogan said.
Brogan said the differential tuition bill might create a business plan to hire more professors, get more equipment and to respond to other financial needs.
“Advocating for the State University System to provide world class academic programs and social experiences while not placing the financial burden on the backs of students, and lobbying the legislature to increase its commitment to higher education is the number one priority of the Florida Student Association,” said Vice Chairman and FAMU SGA President Gallop Franklin.
The Florida State University System is the third largest in the nation.
Of Brogan’s goals, the most important is sticking to one message and standing together.
“To enable us to walk into a meeting with a certain swagger, individually as each separate university, but most importantly collectively from Florida,” Brogan said.
Brogan said he wants to create more jobs so Florida is not just a place to educate students, but also a place for them to work when a degree is obtained. The chancellor said the next legislative session is one of the most important in recent years.
“We have to work together with colleges and state colleges so we do not have a mass duplication or worse,” Brogan said.
Florida Atlantic University’s Student Body President Tiffany Weimar said: “The best way for us to move forward is creating a unified front. If we [are] on different pages nothing can get accomplished.”