The Newton South High School flu clinic is Friday, November 8. Each student to be vaccinated must have a parent/guardian complete two forms: a consent/screening form and a vaccine administration record/insurance form. Forms are also available in the school nurse’s office. For forms in Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, click here. Forms are due to the School Nurse Wednesday, November 6.
Parents may choose the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine for their child and must indicate which type of vaccine they wish their child to receive by checking it on the form. Students in 3rd through 12th grade whose parents choose the flu shot will receive the trivalent flu shot that protects against 3 strains of the flu. All nasal spray flu vaccine is quadrivalent (protects against 4 flu strains), so all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade whose parents choose the nasal spray flu vaccine will receive quadrivalent nasal spray flu vaccine.
Vaccine Information Statements about each type of vaccine are available for review at www.newtonma.gov/flu or in the school nurse’s office. There is no cost to receive the vaccine, but insurance information is requested. Seasonal flu vaccine is offered at no cost to families because the Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides vaccine to communities who choose to vaccinate school-age children. The City of Newton Health & Human Services Department provides the vaccination supplies and staff time to run the program, with the help of Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. Some costs will be recouped through insurance billing. All students, regardless of insurance status, are invited to receive vaccine with parent permission.
Please let your child’s health care provider know the date s/he receives the flu vaccine so it can be documented in your child’s vaccination record. If you or your pediatrician requires a copy of the vaccination record, it is available upon request from the school nurse.
Students are not required to receive flu vaccine, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and up. There are many places to get a flu vaccine including at school, your primary health care provider or community clinics. For additional clinic dates for the whole family, visit www.newtonma.gov/flu.
In addition to vaccination, it is important to practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette by washing hands often; covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the arm; and staying home when sick. For more flu prevention tips, talk to the school nurse or check out these websites: www.newtonma.gov/flu and www.cdc.gov/flu.