Vaccine clinic date uncertain

‘We are now down to a level that is consistent with a normal influenza season’

Queen’s students still have a few weeks to wait before they receive the H1N1 vaccine, but cases of the flu are on the decline, Director of Queen’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety Dan Langham said.

“We don’t have any word at this time when Kingston is going to get any more [vaccines],” he said. “We’re hoping within the next couple of weeks to get more.”

The flu clinic scheduled for Nov. 9 in BioSciences Complex was cancelled by Student Health Services.

Langham said he monitors new cases of H1N1 among faculty and staff, residences and walk-in cases at the student health clinic to determine the virus’s prevalence at Queen’s.

“The signs that we have is that we’re decreasing,” he said. “We’re optimistic that we’re through the worst.”

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health physician Dr. Kieran Moore said he thinks the worst of the H1N1 virus may be over.

“Generally, the trend has been improving. … We are now down to a level that is consistent with a normal influenza season.”

Moore said the incidence of influenza cases among 15 to 24 year olds is returning to normal levels.

“There’s less and less students that are having influenza symptoms,” he said. “We monitor it in real time.”

Approximately 35,000 Kingston residents have received the H1N1 vaccine in the past two weeks, Moore said, adding that the very young and very old have been given highest priority.

“Those were vulnerable groups­ ­— the most important people to get the vaccine to.”

Moore said it’s rare for 17 to 24-year-olds to be hospitalized or to die as a result of the virus.

A typical flu season lasts eight to 10 weeks, Moore said. The H1N1 virus is currently in its sixth week.

“The virus never leaves the community. It often percolates through the community at an individual level,” he said, adding that he still recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as they can.

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