Nov 17, 2009 6:16 PM by sleonard
November 12, 2009- The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has requested school districts to participate in providing H1N1 vaccinations to Louisiana's school children. The campaign offers vaccinations to school-aged children identified as the highest risk factor for contracting the infection during this year's flu season.
As a result, St. Mary Parish School Board will be implementing an H1N1 vaccination program for all students in December. Vaccinations will be offered at no cost on a strictly volunteer basis. Parents wishing to have their child vaccinated may opt to contact a private healthcare provider.
Students attending schools on the east end of the parish will be able to receive the vaccine at Morgan City High School on Saturday, December 5th. On Saturday, December 19th, Franklin High School will offer the vaccine for students attending west end schools. Parish school officials have been in contact with local law enforcement to secure officers for security and traffic control. Parish school nurse supervisor Lydia Duval is working to coordinate the vaccination procedure utilizing school nurses, licensed practical nurses, health occupation teachers, and community volunteers.
The National Institutes of Health announced that the H1N1 flu vaccine will require one 15-microgram dose for children 10 to 17 years of age. However, children nine years old and younger will need two doses administered at least 28 days apart. Therefore, two additional Saturdays in January have been added to accommodate the second dosage for this age group.
Middle and high school students will be receiving the H1N1 vaccine injection while elementary students will be provided with the nasal spray version of the vaccine. Second doses for children age 9 and under will be provided on January 9th at MCHS and January 16th at FHS. School board employees and their families will have the opportunity to participate in the vaccination campaign at a later date using the remaining vaccines.
Signed parental consent forms will be required for a student to receive the vaccine. In addition, a parent/guardian MUST accompany the child during the vaccination process. The JPAMS Parent Command Center has provided a packet of information about the H1N1 flu and vaccinations for parent review. For preparation and planning purposes, the district has distributed to all students a pre-registration form letter detailing the vaccination process and requesting intentions to participate in the vaccination program. Parents will be expected to transport and accompany their children to the vaccination site. However based on pre-registration numbers, the district may offer shuttle bus services from various school sites to the vaccination site.