Archive for Thursday, October 22, 2009

USD 232 to get H1N1 vaccine

October 22, 2009

The Johnson County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment approved the De Soto School District to administer H1N1 flu vaccines.

The district will begin offering shots to students and staff at the Country Side Learning Center in the next two weeks, Alvie Cater director of communications said.

About 140 students attend the center. Parents received a H1N1 flu packet and consent form earlier this week, he said.

Next week, the district will send home H1N1 information packets and consent forms home to elementary school students.

Cater anticipates vaccines will be available for elementary students the first or second week in November.

“It depends on the flu vaccine supply,” Cater said. While students at Country Side are expected to receive the nasal spray vaccine, it is possible the injectable form would be available by the time elementary students receive vaccines.

Although an exact schedule still has to be worked out, Cater said the district could hold clinics at two or three schools in one day.

“We have to determine what days work best for each elementary,” Cater said. “We hope to have the elementary schools done in one week.”

In the following weeks the district will focus on the middle and high schools.

“We will know more next week or the first week in November in terms of vaccine supply for the middle and high school levels,” Cater said. “We are targeting priority groups first, pregnant staff, preschoolers, elementary schoolers, then middle and high school students. We have to do phases because of the issue of supply.

Barbara Mitchell, public information officer for the JoCo health department, said 18,830 doses of the nasal spray and injectable vaccine had arrived in the county.

“They are starting to go to the pediatricians offices, obstetricians, first responders and some family practice groups,” she said.

The county health department has been meeting with local school nursing coordinators on a monthly basis. The most recent Monday afternoon.

“We talk about a plan and make sure if they need help we are there to help them,” Mitchell said of the meetings.

Mitchell said all school district in the county should be approved to administer the vaccine, but each would have their own system for distribution.

“It all depends on the district,” Mitchell said. “KDHE gets the vaccines and distributes them either directly or to the county health departments. There is a lot of paper work involved there and the KDHE decided who the key people are.”

Cater said USD 232 had only one school on Monday with an elevated absentee rate, Prairie Ridge Elementary.

On Tuesday, the schools were at normal levels of absenteeism, below 10 percent.

“We do have a spike occasionally,” Cater said. “But some families take vacations this week because of parent/teacher conferences and the shorter week.”

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