School-based flu clinic planned

Published 3:19 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

With flu cases having shown up as early as August this year, Andalusia City Schools’ lead nurse is encouraging parents to be proactive about vaccinating their children.

A school-based clinic is planned for Thursday, November 8.

“This is still the best preventative measure to minimize the spread of disease,” lead nurse Melinda Carrasco said. “It is impossible to predict how severe the spread will be this year, but we have already received reports of flu as early as August. Peak flu season is typically December through February, and it takes about two weeks after receiving the immunization for the antibodies to develop in the body that will protect against the disease.”

Andalusia City Schools is collaborating with Health Hero to offer the school-based clinics at both the AES and AHS campuses. The vaccine will be available to any enrolled ACS student regardless of insurance. Vaccine consent forms were sent home with report cards and must be completed and returned to the student’s teacher by October 31, Carrasco said. Parents should return them ONLY if the student will participate in the clinic. There is no co-pay or deductible.

“This is a great opportunity and convenience for our students to receive the vaccine with minimal disruption to their school day,” Carrasco said. “In 2017, there were 14 outbreaks in Alabama that involved nine schools and affected over 2,000 students and staff. This impacted communities, parents, staff, and students.

“Locally, last year we had over 100 confirmed cases of the flu among our students and staff here at ACS,” she said. “ This disease is very costly and often preventable with a vaccine.”

Vaccines also are available from the local health department, physicians, and local drug stores, as well as school.

Any parent with questions regarding the school-based clinic can contact Carrasco, at 222-7569, extension 63228.