BY DOMINIQUE LAMBERTON
Ryerson’s first batch of the H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available to students within the next two weeks.
The federal government approved the vaccine last Wednesday and it will be available in Toronto to seniors, chidren six months to five years of age, healthcare workers, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions on Oct. 29, four days earlier than planned. The decision came after a 13-year-old Toronto boy died of the virus.
Others can receive the vaccine in Toronto starting Nov. 2 in designated clinics across the city.
Ryerson’s director of health and wellness, Dr. Su-Ting Teo, said when the vaccine arrives on campus it will be available on a first come, first serve basis at the Ryerson medical centre. There will also be clinics in the Ted Rogers School of Management building, the engineering building, 10 Dundas East and potentially other sites.
Teo said she cannot estimate how many people will seek the vaccination at Ryerson.
“As happens each year with the seasonal flu vaccination, orders are made depending on demand,” Teo said. Matt Demers, a second-year journalism student, believes he is recovering from H1N1.
“I did a lot of reading when I speculated I had it. It’s a new strain of the flu so it’s very contagious and younger people are more susceptible because we haven’t encountered as many strains of the flu in our lifetime,”
Demers said. Demers is going to get the vaccine even though he’s had H1N1. “It’s a flu that hits you like a truck and then backs up, lets you get better for a bit and then runs you over again,” said Demers.
Doctors told him to drink lots of fluids, take Advil or Tylenol and to avoid going to school and work.
He’s suffering from a lingering cough, but feels a lot better.
Teo said it’s important for students to receive the vaccination as the H1N1 flu virus seems to affect a higher number of young healthy people, especially between the ages of five and 25, than the seasonal flu.
Teo warned of the common misconceptions many people have about vaccines.
“There are many myths about vaccines that can be harmful if they prevent people from getting them,” she said.
“They’re offering it for free and it’s going to be right here at the university, so there’s no excuse not to take it,” said Demers.