Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Marion County Elementary Students to Begin Receiving H1N1 Vaccine November 9

The Marion County Health Department has announced that parents of Marion County elementary-aged school students in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and seven other county school systems will be receiving information and consent forms for their students to get the H1N1 flu vaccine beginning Monday, November 9.

Participation in the vaccination clinics is voluntary, the clinics are for the school children only and will be given at no charge.

The school-based clinic plan is based on projected shipments of vaccine. Delays or decreases in those shipments could cause clinics to be delayed.

Along with IPS, elementary schools in Decatur, Pike, Perry, Wayne, Washington and Warren Townships, and Speedway Schools will be involved in the first of a series of clinics for school-aged children. IPS and the seven other school systems are involved because they agreed to host clinics during school hours.

Students in Lawrence and Franklin Townships and Beech Grove schools will receive the vaccine, but not during school hours. Those clinic details have not been finalized. Private, parochial, charter and other schools are part of the plan and details on clinics for those children are being finalized.

"It is critical those parents and guardians wanting their children vaccinated sign and immediately return the consent form. We must have the signed form in order to give the vaccine. The consent forms are also important because they will determine how much vaccine will be needed at each clinic site," said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Health Department.

Based on participation at each school, health officials will announce later in the month when those students ages 9 and under can receive the second of the required two H1N1 vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that two doses of the H1N1 vaccine are needed for those ages 6 months old to 9 years old to provide maximum protection against the virus.

Nurses will work at one township and one IPS elementary school each day. The goal is to complete these elementary schools by November 20.

During the week of November 30, middle and high school students in the four townships and IPS will be vaccinated.

The Marion County Health Department would like to have the school-aged children vaccinated before the traditional Christmas break.

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