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Akron Children's to offer flu vaccinations in schools

01-04-2016 (Akron, Ohio )

Akron Children’s Hospital hopes to give greater Akron area school children a healthy start in 2016 by offering flu vaccines in schools beginning this week. 

“Akron Children’s is again partnering with Health Heroes to make this happen,” said Michele Wilmoth, director of School Health Services for Akron Children’s. “Last year was our first year doing this and it proved to be a very convenient way to get children vaccinated.”

The objective is to provide the flu vaccine to all children whose parents consent to it regardless of their health insurance coverage. Flu vaccines are provided at no cost to students, parents, schools or local/state government.

The participating schools and school districts are:

  • Akron Public Schools
  • Akros Middle School
  • Coventry Local Schools
  • Edge Academy
  • Medina City Schools
  • North Canton City Schools
  • Rootstown Schools
  • UDS Steel Academy

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Wilmoth. “We can save parents a trip to the doctor and keep kids in class. If we get more kids immunized, we can reduce the risk of influenza in our schools and communities and we can especially reduce the risk for our more vulnerable children, such as those with chronic health conditions.”

The process of giving the flu shots should be as easy and orderly as each school’s student picture day, says Wilmoth.

The vaccinations will be administered by state-licensed nurses. FluMist, a pain free, nasal spray, will be provided and injections are also available.

A delay in the supply of FluMist from its manufacturer pushed the in-school vaccination program from the fall until now, but Wilmoth said the upcoming months are still active times for influenza.

Health Heroes takes care of collecting consent forms and will bill private insurance carriers and Medicaid for the cost of the vaccine. The organization’s business model allows it to absorb the cost of vaccines for uninsured children. Teachers and school staff will also be offered the vaccine.