ASU distributes H1N1 vaccines to high-risk groups

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TEMPE -- Keep yourself healthy and protected. That's the message ASU sent out to thousands of high-risk patients, students, faculty and staff on Wednesday at the opening of the university’s H1N1 vaccine clinic.

Along with the seasonal flu vaccine, the university just received a big batch of H1N1 doses. And in a large population with lots of close contact, many were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Lining up and taking their turns, dozens of ASU students and faculty waited for their shot at protection.

“There’s just such a scare for the swine flu so we wanted to protect ourselves as much as possible,” student Christine Peters said.

“I heard that it can more severely affect people with asthma … I have asthma,” student Michael Sheehan said.

Like many, Sheehan has had a hard time finding the vaccine.

“I heard there was a shortage in certain areas, but I also heard that ASU had shots aplenty for students who needed it, and for faculty who needed it, so I came today,” he said.

Over the next two days, the university plans to distribute some 10,000 injectible and nasal mist vaccines for high-risk groups.

For students like Yenet Ledezma this opportunity couldn't have come at a more critical time -- she's six months pregnant.

“I’ve been worried about it because there have been cases in my classroom, where there’s like 30 people so it’s really close contact, and so it really worries me that something might happen,” she said.

Christine Peters and her boyfriend have also been trying to dodge the virus.

“Especially when I go to the computer lab and use the computers, they have sanitary wipes, but I’m always applying the hand sanitizer, rubbing my hands together,” Peters said.

And with H1N1 still ramping up, many say now's the time to get it while they can.

“It affects people of my age more than most things do, so I think it's more important in this case than in most,” said student Vinicius Knabben.

The clinics run Wednesday and Thursday. Clinics will be at ASU in Tempe, ASU West and ASU's Polytechnic campus on Wednesday. The clinics will be at the Tempe and downtown campuses on Thursday.

If you are not a part of ASU but you are in a high-risk group, you can also get vaccinated for $10. For more information, visit asunews.asu.edu/20091113_vaccine.