Parents Encouraged to Take Advantage of In-School Flu Vaccination

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Parents Encouraged to Take Advantage of In-School Flu Vaccination

Posted: 09/18/2015
To reduce the burden of influenza in our community, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will once again offer in-school influenza (FluMist) vaccinations at Knox County elementary and middle schools as well as some Head Starts, private schools and child care centers. The initial phase of the program is from Sept. 25 to Oct. 26, 2015. 

“Vaccination is the best tool to protect yourself from getting sick with the flu. By getting vaccinated you also help protect others who are at risk for serious complications from the flu such as young children, older adults and persons with chronic medical conditions,” said KCHD Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Kelly Cooper. “School-based vaccination clinics help reduce the spread of flu resulting in a decrease in the number visits to the doctor, number of missed work days, and number of missed school days.”

FluMist is an intra-nasal influenza vaccine that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children as young as 2. Children who are younger than 2 will receive a flu shot at the vaccination clinics. No child will be vaccinated without a completed, signed and returned consent form. 

In an effort to sustain the program and remove barriers to vaccination for all children, KCHD is billing insurance for the vaccination. If families have insurance, they should complete the insurance information on the consent form. KCHD will not charge co-pays or send a bill to parents. 

Children 8 years old or younger who have not previously received a flu vaccine will need two (2) doses separated by at least one month. To provide the second dose to these children, KCHD will conduct phase two of the vaccination clinics Nov. 10 - 20. If a child misses his or her school’s clinic date, parents may take the child to any health department location for a flu vaccine.

On average, KCHD has vaccinated approximately 45 percent of Knox County’s school-aged children each year. This program is a national model for community flu prevention. Evidence supports vaccinating children as a way to protect the entire community from influenza. 

Influenza vaccinations are available at all three KCHD locations for anyone over 6 months of age. Appointments are required by calling 865-215-5070.