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School-based immunization program launched in Washoe Co.
by Tribune Staff
Nov 14, 2010 | 1534 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The Nevada State Immunization Program is partnering with the Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition (NNIC) and the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to launch a pilot program in November offering free flu vaccines to elementary students in Reno, Sparks and Sun Valley.

Three Title I schools — Alice Maxwell, Sierra Vista and Esther Bennett elementary schools — will offer onsite flu vaccines with parental consent. Vaccines will be administered by NNIC member nurses from WCSD Student Health Services and the Washoe County Health District.

In addition to keeping students healthy and in school during flu season, the program also serves as a model for implementing school-based health clinics throughout Nevada.

“We know that flu vaccines are the single most important thing parents can do to help keep their children healthy and avoid contracting flu,” said Heidi Hurst, NNIC director. “By bringing immunizations directly to schools, we hope to eliminate some of the roadblocks that prevent children from receiving this important vaccination.”

This season’s vaccine protects against the H1N1 virus.

“These school-based clinics will enable us to vaccinate hundreds of students who may not otherwise receive a flu vaccination,” said Dana Balchunas, director of the district’s Student Health Services. “In turn, we hope these clinics help reduce the rate of flu-related absenteeism at the schools.”

Flu vaccinations are still available throughout northern Nevada and are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. More information including upcoming community flu clinics is available online at www.immunizenevada.org/flu.
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