December 01, 2009

H1N1 flu vaccination clinic planned for Dec. 4

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An H1N1 flu vaccination clinic is set for Friday, Dec. 4, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Recreation Center Alumni Lounge and anyone from the campus or community who meets the criteria can participate.

The clinic will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is open to:

• Pregnant women.

• Those who live with or provide care for infants younger than six months of age.

• Health care and emergency medical services personnel.

• Those ages 6 months through 24 years

• People age 25-64 who have various medical conditions such as asthma, or chronic illnesses or conditions associated with a higher risk of complications from influenza.

The clinic is a joint effort of the Jackson County Health Department (JCHD) and the SIUC Student Health Center. SIUC students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members who meet the criteria can receive the vaccinations at no charge. Community members are welcome too. No appointments are necessary.

The health department has supplies of the nasal spray, injectable vaccines and the preservative-free injectable vaccine. The preservative-free nasal spray, recommended for healthy people ages 2 to 49, contains a weakened live virus, similar to vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. Officials note that those experiencing flu-like symptoms should wait until they are well before getting their vaccination to receive the maximum benefit; the vaccine is not a treatment for existing illness.

The JCHD anticipates it will have sufficient supplies of vaccinations early in 2010 to administer them to those who don’t meet the criteria for vaccination at this time. Those unable to attend Friday’s clinic can go to any of the health department’s other public clinics. For the full schedule, visit

Students can also check online at or on Facebook at for information about future H1N1 immunization clinics, times and locations on campus. Those within the “at risk” categories can also get an immunization at other times by making an appointment with a provider at the Student Health Center but they will incur a $6 front door fee. Call 618/453-3311 or e-mail for an appointment or more information about H1N1 or seasonal flu vaccinations.

In addition to getting vaccinations, people are encouraged to practice preventative measures to help spread illness. That includes the “three C’s”: clean you hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer; cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow, arm or sleeve; and contain the spread of germs and illness by staying home if you are ill.

For more information, call the Illinois Flu Hotline 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 866/848-2094 (English) or 866/241-2138 (Spanish).