Rhode Island is aiming to keep our school-aged children healthy this winter by offering the seasonal influenza vaccine in schools. Last year, this process helped us get the most kids vaccinated and had the unintended consequence of helping to prevent the spread of the flu to parents and grandparents. This year, HEALTH will continue the annual tradition of school-based flu vaccination clinics.
School-based flu vaccination clinics will be offered at public, private, and parochial schools beginning in early October and running through December. To view the school clinic schedule or download a consent form, visit http://www.health.ri.gov/flu/about/schoolclinics.
“This year, one flu shot will protect people against both seasonal and H1N1 flu,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “Vaccination is still the best protection against the flu. We encourage all parents to have their child vaccinated. Vaccinating children gives us the double benefit of keeping the children protected and preventing the children from spreading flu to adults.”
In the next week, schools will be sending home detailed information about the 2010/2011 flu vaccination campaign with all students. Students must be vaccinated at the clinic offered by the school he or she attends. (Check clinic schedule for location of your school’s clinic.) Parents can also bring their children to their healthcare provider to be vaccinated.
Receiving flu vaccine at school-based clinics is voluntary and there is no out-of-pocket cost to the student or their families. In general, clinics for high school students will run during school hours and clinics for younger students will run during the evening. School administrators will contact parents and guardians with the specific information about their flu vaccination clinics.
Students who have allergies not related to vaccine will be able to get vaccinated in the school-based clinic. Students who have severe allergies to eggs, have had a serious reaction to a previous vaccination, or have had Guillan-Barre Syndrome will need to be vaccinated by their doctor.