Flu shots coming to schools

Published 12:41 am Monday, August 24, 2009

By By Lydia Grimes
features reporter

Vaccines for the H1N1 flu virus will likely be available around the first of November, Escambia County Health Department director Ricky Elliott said Thursday.
Speaking to members of the Escambia County School Board, Elliott said vaccinations will be available to any students who want to receive them.
The state health department said Friday it expects to receive 600,000 courses of novel H1N1 vaccine by October, followed by an additional 300,000 doses every two weeks. H1N1 developed last spring and was initially called “swine flu.”
There have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 in Escambia County Schools as of last week, and school officials have said they are working hard to make sure students follow basic precautions, such as washing their hands and coughing into their sleeves rather than their hands.
Randall Little, assistant superintendent of Escambia County Schools, said the school system has already made plans with the school nurses in order for vaccinations to go smoothly.
State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said Friday that the state health department has advised doctors that routine tests to confirm H1N1 are not necessary. More than 99 percent of all positive influenza samples tested by the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in the past month were positive for the flu strain.