Knox Co. Seasonal FluMist Vaccination Clinics Start Sept. 14

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knox Co. Seasonal FluMist Vaccination Clinics Start Sept. 14

Posted: 09/11/2009
With elevated public awareness of influenza and in anticipation of possible upcoming H1N1 immunization campaigns, Knox County Health Department and Knox County Schools are opening the first seasonal FluMist in-school vaccination clinic to the media. Monday, Sept. 14, marks the kickoff of this year's program and students at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy at 3001 Brooks Road will be receiving their seasonal flu immunizations at 9 a.m. You are invited to photograph the clinic operations and conduct interviews.

Knox County's FluMist program, which began in 2004, is a national model for community flu prevention campaigns. Evidence supports vaccinating children as a way to protect the entire community from influenza. Since the inception of in-school flu vaccination clinics, Knox County Schools have not closed due to seasonal flu during that time. (Two Knox County schools were closed last spring following CDC guidelines for H1N1 flu. Those recommendations have since changed.)

Each fall, Knox County public health professionals have vaccinated an average of more than 28,000 school children. Last year, Head Start students and child care enrollees were added. With the advent of H1N1 this year, officials expect the number of children vaccinated within the three-week program could increase by as much as 20 percent in some schools.

KCHD staff is highly trained and efficient in operating high-volume points of dispensing (PODs) medication. Their experience could prove invaluable this flu season when two types of flu, seasonal and H1N1, will be circulating in the community.

FluMist is an intra-nasal flu vaccine, approved by the FDA for use in children as young as two and for adults up to 50 years of age. Public health officials expect a portion of the H1N1 vaccine to be available in intra-nasal form when it arrives in October.

You are invited to cover this important event. Mayor Ragsdale, Knox County Health Department Director Mark Jones, Knox County School Superintendent McIntyre and clinic staff will be available for interviews.