The flu virus can spread like wildfire in primary, middle and high schools. But administrators can take steps to reduce the number of flu cases. It’s not unusual for schools to mail letters alerting parents to the importance of giving their child a flu vaccine. Vaccines are available in most areas as early as August — just in time for the new school year.
While students can receive a flu vaccine from their doctor or a pharmacist, some schools have taken it upon themselves to host flu shot clinics. In this case, the school nurse or another licensed nurse administers the flu shot to students. A flu clinic is an effective way to protect students, but before hosting a clinic, here are a few tips to consider.
1. Give parents ample notice: Parents must give their permission before a school can administer the flu vaccine to their children. If hosting an upcoming clinic, it’s best to give parents at least a week’s notice. Schools can send home letters, mail letters to the house or alert parents with an automated telephone message.
2. Provide information about the flu: There are many misconceptions surrounding the flu vaccine. If sending a letter to notify parents of an upcoming clinic, it doesn’t hurt to include a few facts about the vaccine. For example, the letter can dispel beliefs that the flu shot causes the flu.
3 Make it affordable: If unable to administer free vaccinations, find a way to offer the flu vaccine at a price that most parents can afford.