After great anticipation, a small supply of the H1N1 vaccine was delivered from the Maine CDC to campus this week.
Though 100 doses of injectable H1N1 vaccine were delivered, only a quarter of the doses had been administered to students as of late Wednesday, according to Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster. Students were informed of the shipment through an e-mail on Tuesday.
"We expected a heavy response to the message but actually to date we've had a limited response," said Foster on Thursday. "As of yesterday evening at [5 p.m], we'd only had 25 students come forward."
Several additional students, however, were administered the vaccine on Thursday.
Currently, the health center is prioritizing students with high-risk of complications from influenza.
Though administrators are encouraging students, especially those at high-risk, to get the vaccine, the choice to be immunized or not is up to students, said Foster.
"We are not going to require people to be vaccinated, so people need to take the initiative to get a vaccination," said Foster.
According to Foster, the College does not know when the next shipment of vaccine will come from the Maine Center for Disease Control (Maine CDC).
In their weekly H1N1 update, the Maine CDC reported that "vaccine is being distributed at an unprecedented speed."
"Almost 40,000 doses of vaccine are arriving this week, bringing the total as of Nov. 5 to 138,600 doses. This is about 20 percent of the total amount of vaccine needed for prioritized populations in the state," stated the report.
Though the Maine CDC reported that outbreaks have increased recently in Maine, Bowdoin has not seen a spike in cases.
Ten additional students were diagnosed with flu-like symptoms this week.
Of the 208 students total that have fallen ill this year, 201 have recovered and returned to class. Seven students were ill and in isolation as of Thursday.
Given that the number of students ill during any given week has subsided so significantly, the College will now use a unit in the Brunswick Apartments and an apartment in Mustard House to quarantine students, rather than the third floor of the Buck Center.
"It's just a big building to be in and it was the right model when [we had] large numbers of people who were sick," said Foster.
In addition, safety concerns factored in to the decision.
"We weren't comfortable with students being by themselves in Buck, which is a really large building to be there at night and after hours," said Foster.