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East County Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 12 years ago

Manatee district will provide swine flu vaccinations


The Manatee County Health Department has partnered with Manatee County Schools to provide H1N1 flu immunizations to students in elementary, middle and high schools.

Health department staff will provide the vaccines in schools to students whose parents or guardians provide their consent via forms that will go out in information packets to parents at the end of this month.

The packets contain the consent form, an assessment that parents will fill out to determine if their child can
receive the H1N1 flu vaccine and vaccine information sheets that explain the risks and contraindications associated with any immunization. Parents who want their children to receive the vaccine will be required to return the consent forms to their school within three days. Parents who do not wish to have their children vaccinated can simply not return the consent form.

Once the parental consent forms have been returned to the schools, parents will be notified by the school as to when the vaccinations will be scheduled at the child’s school site. Parents of elementary students must accompany their child at the time of vaccination. Middle and high school students are not required to have their parents present.

Children under the age of 10 years are required to receive a second dose of the vaccine. A second clinic will be held at your child’s school after 21 to 28 days. Many parents may also opt to have their child vaccinated at their physician’s office.

“Our partners at Manatee County Schools and Manatee County Emergency Management are as concerned as we are about the health of the county’s children," said Dr. Jennifer Bencie, administrator of the Manatee County Health Department. "Protecting our children against this virus is a major undertaking that we couldn’t have planned without the cooperation of Superintendent Tim McGonegal, Chief Laurie Feagans and their staff."

The parental notification and vaccination clinic process in the schools will take several weeks to accomplish
and parents and the community are urged to monitor the media and the school district’s Web site for periodic updates at

Although H1N1 flu is a pandemic as well as a potentially serious illness, vaccinations are voluntary.

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