The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office will set up school clinics to administer H1N1 vaccinations beginning next week.
A team of nurses and health department staff will be manning the clinics
In order for children in the school system to receive the immunizations, their parents or guardians would first have to complete and sign a form, giving permission. The immunizations will be free of charge.
Dee Anna Persinger, School Health Coordinator, reported to the school board Thursday night that the clinics will begin Tuesday, February 16th. "The H1N1 shots will be given at DeKalb West School starting at 8:00 a.m. That is open to anyone as long as you fill out a consent form. We will move on to the Middle School after that, and after lunch we will move to the high school. We will start Wednesday morning, February 17th at Smithville Elementary at 8:00 a.m. and as soon as we finish there we will move to Northside Elementary School."
During last month's school board meeting, Persinger said the school system, nor the board of education would be held liable since "children are covered through malpractice insurance through the health department, just the same as if they went to the health department themselves."
The vaccinations would not just be available to children. Persinger says others could receive the immunizations as well. " Not only is this H1N1 flu vaccination and or mist available to our students, its also available to any adult, faculty or staff member, a younger sibling, or parents as long as they fill out the form. They (health department) are going to have plenty of vaccinations while they are at the school so anybody can get this for free. There's no cost, they just have to fill out the form and sign it."
A consent form and a letter has been sent to parents and guardians from the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office:
"As you may have heard, a new influenza virus, called the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, was first identified in the United States in late April 2009. The virus has caused illness ranging from mild to severe, including hospitalizations and deaths in adults and children. Many children have gotten H1N1 infection and there have been large outbreaks in some schools across the country. Flu is unpredictable and activity can rise and fall throughout the season, but flu is likely to continue for months, caused by either 2009 H1N1 viruses or regular seasonal flu viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that children and young adults be vaccinated against H1N1."
"Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from this potentially serious disease. The health department is working with your child's school to give the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to children at school. A vaccination clinic will be held at your child's school in the month of February 2010. Please complete the consent form along with your signature giving permission to vaccinate your child."
"Children under age 10 need two doses of vaccine spaced one month apart to provide adequate immunity. Only one dose is required for children age 10 and older or for children that obtain the first dose at age 9 and will turn 10 before the second dose is due. If your child meets the criteria for a second dose, it will also be administered at school to fulfill the requirement. There will be no cost to you for this vaccine."
"If you have any questions about the vaccine or the vaccination clinic, please call your local health department from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please visit the CDC's H1N1 web site at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/and http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/parents for information especially for parents.