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Akron Children's to offer flu vaccines in schools

10-07-2016 (Akron, Mahoning Valley, Ohio )

Beginning this week, Akron Children’s will offer flu vaccines in nine school districts, making it easier and more convenient than ever to get children immunized.  

“Akron Children’s is once again partnering with an organization called Health Heroes to make this happen,” said Michele Wilmoth, director of School Health Services for Akron Children’s. “This is a wonderful way to get as many school children vaccinated with the goal of keeping them healthy and in school all year.”

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 school districts are:

  • Akron Public Schools
  • Copley-Fairlawn City Schools
  • Medina City Schools
  • Nordonia Hills Schools
  • Rootstown Local Schools
  • Sebring Local Schools
  • Warren City Schools
  • Woodridge Local Schools
  • Wooster City Schools

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Wilmoth. “We can save parents a trip to the doctor and keep students in class learning. The most important thing we can do to prevent flu is encourage everyone to get a flu vaccine.”

The process of school-located flu vaccination clinics can be compared to a school’s student picture day. Students will receive a vaccine and return to class in 15 minutes or less, says Wilmoth.

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.  The vaccinations will be administered by state-licensed nurses.

This year, children will only be offered the flu shot as the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in June that the live attenuated influenza vaccine nasal spray, commonly known as FluMist, not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The panel made the decision based on studies from 2013 to 2016 showing lower effectiveness of the live vaccine.