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School system holding free flu shot clinic

Deadline Friday for Sept. 26 event

POSTED: September 19, 2012 12:33 a.m.
 

October is the month for changing leaves, pumpkins, costumes and candy, but it’s also when the flu season begins.

To ensure students spend more time learning than coughing, the Forsyth County school system and the Georgia Department of Public Health will offer free influenza immunizations to students Sept. 26.

Connie Trent, the school system’s health services coordinator, said she’s pleased that students will be able to be vaccinated.

“Our goal is to decrease student illness, which will reduce missed school days for students and missed work days for their parents,” she said.

“We hope that many parents will take advantage of the convenience of picking up their child on early release day and taking them to get vaccinated at one of our schools.”

The flu shot and mist vaccinations will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Cumming Elementary.

In order to participate, parents must return a completed release form, along with a copy of their insurance card, to their child’s school by Friday.

If a family’s insurance company doesn’t cover the flu shot, the health department will be reimbursed by the state, not the family. Children of families without insurance will also be given the vaccination at no charge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, September is when flu vaccinations should begin, though they can continue through flu season, which can last as late as May.

Flu season begins as early as October and activity typically peaks in January or February.

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a vaccine annually. That also includes adults, said David Palmer, spokesman for District 2 Public Health.

The Forsyth County Health Department offers the flu shot for all ages, Palmer said.

“There’s plenty of vaccine to go around,” he said. “There’s not a shortage of vaccine this year as there has been before.”

The county health department is offering the shots on a walk-in basis weekly during regular business hours.

Palmer said the county health department charges $25 for the vaccination.

Last year, the department gave more than 2,000 vaccinations at the office and through clinics such as the one later this month.

 

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