Letter to Parents/Families About H1N1

Dear Parents and Families,

For the past few months we have been implementing a comprehensive plan to reduce the impact of the upcoming flu season on our campus community.  We are now at the phase of our plan that involves the administration of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine and we need your support to make this initiative a success.

Montclair State University is an approved State provider site for the distribution of the H1N1 flu vaccine and will be offering it to our students in early November, free of charge.  We ask that you encourage your student to get vaccinated in order to protect against getting the flu and preventing further spread of the disease.  The Center for Disease Control estimates that every individual who gets the H1N1 flu passes it to 2 or 3 more people.  As a community, it is our collective responsibility to take an active role in reducing the spread of illness - and vaccination is the most effective defense against the H1N1 flu.
   
As of this week, campuses across the country have already reported over 39,000 cases of influenza like illness in students. At Montclair State, we have identified 39 cases since the start of the semester.  Some students have had mild symptoms and others have been quite ill.  All have recovered without complications but each lost at least 5 days of class attendance during their illness. Our goal is to keep the Montclair State community healthy so we may continue our academic endeavors.  Students who stay healthy stay in class!
   
Many of you may have questions about the H1N1 vaccine so we have compiled comprehensive information on our designated Web page at www.montclair.edu/flu.  In summary, the vaccine is available free and it is safe and effective in preventing H1N1 infection. It is especially recommended for college age students, pregnant women, caretakers of very young children, and anyone under age 65 who has underlying medical conditions such as asthma. Those who may have had the flu in the past six months should also be vaccinated.

Please discuss with your student the importance of getting the H1N1 and remind them to check the Montclair State website and watch for email notices announcing exact times and locations of the immunization clinics.
   
Thank you for supporting our efforts to reduce the spread of flu on campus.

Sincerely,
Karen L. Pennington, Ph.D.
Vice President
Student Development and Campus Life