- By Kelley Luckstein
Immunize kids to keep the community healthy from the flu
Olmsted County area public and private schools offering school-located influenza vaccination clinics
ROCHESTER, Minn. — “Everyone needs to get the flu vaccine every year, and, this year, the school-based immunization program of Olmsted County is bigger than ever, making it easier for more families to get their school children vaccinated on time,” says Robert Jacobson, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic. “This year, for the first time, we will bring the flu vaccine program to every middle school in the county and four of the seven high schools. That’s great news for parents.”
Kids easily spread influenza, and they carry the virus home to their families. Kids miss school, and parents miss work.
The clinics will operate at 47 schools across Olmsted County Sept. 14-Oct. 9. Visit http://www.semnic.org/schoolfluclinics.aspx to register your child for the school-located influenza vaccination program. You also can visit your school’s website for more information.
Kari Etrheim, Communications, Olmsted County Public Health Services, 507-328-7424
Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Children have the highest occurrence rates during community outbreaks of the flu, and they are more likely to start the spread the influenza in the community,” says Shannon Smith, public health nurse manager, Olmsted County Public Health.
This program is unique to Olmsted County and is in its seventh year. On average, 53 percent of Olmsted County school-aged children 5-17 years were vaccinated in 2014, according to data published by the state of Minnesota. This is well above other county averages; however, that number should be higher. “School-based clinics are a convenient way for parents to get their children vaccinated and keep this preventable disease out of the classroom,” Smith adds.
Mayo Clinic or Olmsted Medical Center nurses will administer all the vaccines. The vaccine will be billed to the child’s insurance and recorded in his or her electronic health record.
“The collaboration vaccinates children in a fast, efficient and convenient way,” says Marty Aleman, public health nurse manager for Olmsted County. “By doing this, it helps keep influenza out of the schools and makes the health of the community a priority.”
See a clinic in action:
- Please contact Heather Nessler, ISD 535 executive director of communications, at 507-328-4500 to arrange a visit at a specific school clinic.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.