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KCHD has received all FluMist vaccine for in-school influenza vaccination clinics
Knoxville, Tenn. — The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) has received all the FluMist (nasal spray) vaccine it ordered. To date, approximately 75 percent of the phase one in-school flu vaccination clinics have been completed; nearly all the phase one clinics are scheduled to be completed by Friday, Dec. 18. In-school clinics originally planned for October were postponed due to a delayed shipment of the nasal spray vaccine.
“We’re pleased to be able to reschedule nearly all of our phase one clinics before the holiday break, after receiving all of our ordered FluMist vaccine,” said KCHD Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Kelly Cooper. “Annual vaccination is still the most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against the flu. We hope parents take advantage of the clinics as a convenient way to have their children vaccinated if they haven’t been vaccinated already.”
Children 8 years old or younger who have not previously received a flu vaccine need two doses separated by at least one month. To provide the second dose to these children, KCHD conducts a second phase of the in-school clinics. A portion of phase two clinics takes place this month, but the majority will be scheduled for January.
If a child misses his or her school’s clinic date, parents may take the child to KCHD for a vaccine. Both the nasal spray and the injectable vaccine are available at all three KCHD locations. Those interested in receiving a vaccination at KCHD should schedule an appointment by calling 865-215-5070. Parents should notify their child’s school in writing if they have chosen to or are planning to have their child vaccinated elsewhere and have already submitted the consent form. More information about the FluMist program, including the online consent form, is available on the KCHD website at knoxcounty.org/health/flumist. No child will be vaccinated without a completed, signed and returned consent form.
FluMist is an intranasal influenza vaccine that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children as young as 2. According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recent data has shown that the nasal spray and the injectable vaccine are equally effective.
For more than 10 years, KCHD has partnered with Knox County elementary and middle schools, private schools, Head Starts, and child care facilities to offer FluMist to eligible children in the school setting. 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.
About Knox County Health Department:
The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is a governmental agency dedicated to making every person a healthy person. As the first health department in Tennessee to achieve national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, KCHD’s mission is to encourage, promote and assure the development of an active, healthy community through innovative public health practices. The organization conducts disease surveillance, prevention and control; emergency preparedness; nutrition and physical activity promotion; tobacco use prevention; health equity promotion; immunizations; and much more. For more information, visit www.knoxcounty.org/health.