Though 55,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine have arrived in Maine so far this month, the College continues to wait for its first shipment.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said that the College has already been approved to dispense the H1N1 vaccine, but because of widespread delays in the H1N1 vaccine distribution, immunizations will likely not come to campus until mid-November.
The first H1N1 vaccine shipment arrived in Maine during the week of October 7 and brought 14,800 doses to the state, according to a press release from the Maine Center for Disease Control (Maine CDC) during that week.
Since then, several more shipments of vaccine have arrived in the State.
A report released on Thursday by Dr.. Dora Mills, director of the Maine CDC, stated that "approximately 21,800 doses of H1N1 vaccine arrived this week, both injectable and nasal spray. This additional supply should bring the total to about 55,000 doses in the state, which are being shipped to registered health care providers immediately."
The recent Maine CDC report emphasized the current scarcity of the vaccine as well as the need to immunize the highest-risk individuals before moving on to other demographics.
"The highest priority populations for H1N1 vaccine are children and pregnant women," it read. "About 90 percent of the H1N1 vaccine supply arriving in Maine these first few weeks should be directed to [them]."
Given the target populations for immunization at this time, the College, along with Colby and the University of Maine, have not received any vaccine.
Bates College, however, while in the midst of a severe flu outbreak, received a shipment of H1N1 vaccine, and has been able to vaccinate 999 students in three separate clinics since October 10, according to Bates College Director of Communications and Media Relations Bryan McNulty.
Students at Bates had been relatively unscathed by H1N1 through the month of September. On September 24, McNulty told the Orient that only nine students had reported Influenza-Like-Illness since September 5.
On Wednesday, however, McNulty said that 265 cases of Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) had been reported since the beginning of the year, and that the first case of H1N1 was confirmed on October 8.
"We were fortunate that the vaccine came in to the state just as we had our first confirmed cases," said McNulty.
McNulty said that vaccine was offered to all students at Bates.
"The larger the number vaccinated, the greater the 'herd immunity,'" he said.
Foster said he understands the recent prioritization of Bates' outbreak, despite the fact that Bowdoin continues to be without vaccine.
"Because our outbreak was very much waning and Bates' was in full bloom—and continues to be—the State [of Maine] prioritized by saying that this allotment would go to Bates," said Foster.
Currently, there are only six students ill at Bowdoin, three of whom are in quarantine in Buck and three of whom are in singles on and off campus.
Foster emphasized that although the number of students with ILI has declined greatly in recent weeks, H1N1 will remain a concern for the College.
"I don't expect we're going to see a big spike in cases, but I also don't think its just going to go away," said Foster.
Carr said on Thursday that the University of Maine had a total of 27 reported incidences of ILI.
Director of Communications at Colby College David Eaton reported that Colby, which had approximately 50 students reporting ILI at the end of last week, has been told to expect the H1N1 vaccine in early November. Clinics will be scheduled once the vaccine arrives on campus.
In addition to anticipating the H1N1 vaccine, Bowdoin continues to wait on further vaccinations for seasonal flu after receiving about 190 doses, which were used to inoculate highest-risk students.
Foster said that the College expects the next shipment of seasonal flu vaccine to come in mid-November as well.
"We need to trust that these dates of mid-November are going to be realistic, and then go from there," he said.