Campus Health Center strives for student wellness

By Alex Ripepi
Managing Editor

After last year’s flu season, with Kern County experiencing 18 deaths as of February, the California State University Bakersfield Student Health Center is making strides to ensure that as many students as possible can receive Influenza vaccinations.
Because the initial order of last year’s 250 vaccines was depleted, this year 50 additional vaccines were ordered to allow for more coverage of the student population. Erika Delamar, the assistant director of the SHC said that the order was placed earlier, and in greater number, in the hopes that more vaccines could be acquired should the initial order be completely utilized. The hope is that unlike last year, the first order will run out before vaccines are spread too thinly and the SHC is unable to order more.
“We want to make sure that as many students as possible are vaccinated,” said Delamar, who explained that even though complete usage of the vaccine stores means that more students won’t be covered, it lets the SHC know that more people are interested in trying to prevent the flu for future orders or the next season.
Additionally, the SHC has recently made and continues to make broader attempts at increasing the accessibility of vaccines, having had two clinics active during New Student Convocation and preparing for three more during the Week of Welcome, two on Sep. 17 at 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m. and one on Sep. 18 at 1:00-4:00 p.m.
The SHC also was able to reduce the cost of the vaccines on campus from $20 to $15, although even cheaper alternatives do exist, such as $9 clinics around the county if last year’s trend is to be expected.
While the SHC clearly cannot cover the entire student population of around 8,000 students, the faster vaccines are used, the easier it will be for the Health Center to replenish them and more students to get vaccinated. And while last year’s deaths from Influenza were less than the 2012-13 flu season, hopefully Kern County will see less than 18 deaths this season.
Aside from the flu, Delamar addressed another concern that the SHC is facing: students who aren’t getting the required vaccines for registration at CSUB. Currently, there are approximately 2100 prospective students that have not received either the Hepatitis B or MMR vaccinations, both of which will result in a hold on registration after a period of time. This poses the problem of students being unable to finish their degrees if they don’t get the vaccination or vaccinations causing the hold.