District to offer free H1N1 flu vaccinations for K-12 students

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Beginning the week of November 2, the Indian River School District and the State of Delaware will be providing free H1N1 flu vaccinations for students in Grades K-12.

This is a voluntary immunization program. No student will be vaccinated without written consent from his or her parent or guardian. Vaccinations will be provided during the school day by officials from the Delaware Division of Public Health.

Students in Grades K-5 will receive the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine, which is sprayed into both nostrils. Children under the age of 10 will require a second dose of the vaccine approximately four weeks after the first dose. Students in Grades 6-12 will receive the H1N1 flu shot and will need only one dose of the vaccine. Students with certain health risk factors may not be able to receive the vaccine at school and will be referred to their private physician for vaccination.

Each school’s nurse will serve as vaccine coordinator and liaison to the DPH vaccination team.

During the week of October 19, letters and consent forms will be sent to the parents of every student in Grades K-12. Vaccination consent forms must be signed and returned by Friday, October 23. Parents are asked to return the signed form even if they do not want their child to be vaccinated. To decline the vaccination, parents should complete the “I Do Not Give Consent” portion of the form.

A reminder flyer will be sent home a few days before the vaccination clinic at each school. Parents may withdraw their consent at any time up to the clinic date by contacting the school nurse.