Influenza is a serious illness that causes a great deal of sickness and absenteeism among school children, teachers and other school contacts. Sadly, influenza (flu) claims the lives of an estimated 36,000 Americans each year. Flu can be easily spread to infant siblings and even to grandparents, two groups for whom it is particularly serious. Flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
The Monroe County Department of Public Health was recently awarded a federal grant to assess the feasibility of administering flu vaccine in school settings. We call this project MCSKIPP (Monroe County School Kids Influenza Prevention Project).
We are working closely with school officials to design a system to administer flu vaccine to children (with parental permission of course) in select schools within Monroe County during the Fall, 2010. Nursing professionals from the University of Rochester's Health Checkpoint Program -- who annually administer tens of thousands of flu shots at community clinics -- are our clinical partners on this project.
Engaging in this type of effort will also better prepare our community should we ever face a large-scale public health threat that could necessitate using schools as a site to dispense medications.
See the Resource Section below for more information on MCSKIPP and influenza.
Given that this is a test project to determine the feasibility of administering flu shots in schools, not all Monroe County schools will be participating at this time. Certain schools from the following districts will be participating: East Irondequoit, Pittsford, City of Rochester, and Spencerport.
Please feel free to contact Kim DiMattia, Project Associate, at 224-2873, during normal business hours.
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