Shoo Flu:  Get the flu vaccine at school, not the flu!

Seasonal flu vaccination clinics will be held during the school day at the Newton Public Schools in October and November. Students in Kindergarten through grade 12 may receive vaccine.

The CABOT SCHOOL clinic will be on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2013. Each student to be vaccinated must have a parent/guardian complete two forms: a consent/screening form and a vaccine administration record/insurance form. Forms are available in the school nurse’s office, or may be downloaded at http://www.newtonma.gov/flu.
Forms are due to the School Nurse by TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2013.

Parents may choose the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine for their child. Parents must indicate the type of vaccine they wish their child to receive by checking it on the form.

Students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade whose parents choose the flu shot will receive the quadrivalent flu shot that protects against four strains of the flu. Students in 3rd through 12th grade whose parents choose the flu shot will receive the trivalent flu shot that protects against 3 strains of the flu. All nasal spray flu vaccine is quadrivalent, so all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade whose parents choose the nasal spray flu vaccine will receive quadrivalent nasal spray flu vaccine.

Vaccine Information Statements about each type of vaccine are available for review at http://www.newtonma.gov/flu or in the school nurse’s office. There is no cost to receive the vaccine, but insurance information is requested.

Seasonal flu vaccine is offered at no cost to families because the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is providing vaccine to communities who choose to vaccinate school-age children. The City of Newton Health & Human Services Department is providing the vaccination supplies and staff time to run the program, with the help of Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. Some costs will be recouped through insurance billing. All students, regardless of insurance status, are invited to receive vaccine with parent permission.

Please let your child’s health care provider know the date s/he receives the flu vaccine so it can be documented in your child’s vaccination record. If you or your pediatrician requires a copy of the vaccination record, it is available upon request from the school nurse at your child’s school.

Students are not required to receive flu vaccine, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and up. There are many places to get a flu vaccine including at school, your primary health care provider or community clinics. For additional clinic dates for the whole family, visit http://www.newtonma.gov/flu.

In addition to vaccination, it is important to practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette by washing hands often; covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the arm; and staying home when sick.

For more flu prevention tips, talk to the school nurse or check out these websites: