School to provide swine flu vaccine

By Ingrid Chang

Swine flu vaccines for 250 people will be available to students, faculty and staff on campus next week.

The vaccines will be available at the Middle School on Wednesday Feb. 17 and at the Upper School the next day.

The vaccinations will be given and provided by Concentra Health Solutions at both campuses.

The vaccinations have been pre-ordered and there should be enough to cover everybody who has not already received them through their primary physicians or pharmacies, Personnel Assistant Nicole Ryan said.

Earlier in the year, more than 100 students were absent in one day on account of swine flu-like symptoms.

Since then, the school has taken measures to prevent future breakouts.

The school has installed hand sanitizers on the walls of both the upper and middle school campuses.

“We ordered them back in November,” she said. “But since then the vaccine has become so much more widely available through primary care physicians and pharmacies that probably most of the students and faculty and staff have already received their vaccines.”

Students can also receive vaccinations from physicians, pharmacies, and clinics if they need to get the vaccination injected immediately, Director of Sports Medicine Sandee Teruya said.

Although there is an overstock of H1N1 vaccine in the country, the school has not been able to obtain any until recently.

“Even though we are a school, we are considered general public, so we had to wait until all of the doctors in the Los Angeles County got their shipments and then we were able to order them from Concentra,” Ryan said.

Another factor that had delayed the vaccinations is that Concentra requires parents to sign a form giving permission for their child to be vaccinated, but Harvard-Westlake had already sent parents their own authorization form.

A sign-up form for vaccinations was mailed out in November because the administration originally thought the school would receive them sooner.

“We’re hoping to double up on them because the parents have already completed it,” Ryan said.

“We may ask that they sign one more piece of paper but it will be very minimal,” she said.