College and University Vaccination Campaign

Rhode Island is holding a statewide H1N1 vaccination campaign to reach college and university students over a three-week period, which started the week of November 30. In August, RI DOH had initial planning meetings with all colleges and universities in the state, but had to postpone implementation of the plans when the H1N1 vaccine was delayed.

The week of November 30, RI DOH began providing vaccine to colleges and universities in the state, to vaccinate students through age 24 who live in congregate settings. These students are being targeted first due to the increased risk of influenza transmission in these settings. Clinics are organized by the college and university health centers; RI DOH is providing staff to administer the vaccines through contracts with mass vaccinators. Consent forms in English and Spanish were distributed by the health centers in advance of the clinics and are available on-site at the clinics; students under the age of 18 must have the form signed by a parent or guardian. In the coming weeks, additional vaccine will be provided to colleges and universities to vaccinate students who commute to school and do not live in congregate settings.

Additionally, RI DOH is planning a mass vaccination clinic for students through age 24 who are Rhode Island residents but who attend college or university in another state and return to RI for winter break. Students who wish to be vaccinated at this clinic must pre-register, to allow the health department to estimate the amount of vaccine needed; the date for the clinics will then be set based on how many people register and the amount of vaccine required to meet the demand.

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