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North Central Health District

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Jones County Health Department Wants to Help Students Fight the Flu

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School-Based Flu Clinic Provides Immunizations to Students

Staff of Jones County Health Department will be visiting schools across Jones County to provide flu shots to students. Immunization will be free to all students that turn in a consent form signed by parents.

The hard-hitting 2017-2018 flu season stressed the importance of vaccination. By the end of the flu season in May 2018, there had been thousands of flu hospitalizations and over 150 flu-related deaths. The best way to protect against the flu is to get immunized early to protect yourself throughout the entire flu season.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for parents to protect their children against flu,” said Sherry Bryant, Jones County Health Department Nurse Manager. “Our school-based flu clinics give parents the chance to have their children immunized without having to visit the health department. Getting a flu shot can prevent children from missing school due to illness and keep parents form missing work to care for a sick child.”

A student with flu can miss a significant number of days of class, which can affect academic performance. Flu vaccination ensures children will be able to remain in school and reduce the number of absences.

Parents and guardians of students attending Jones County schools will be sent information about upcoming school-based flu clinics including schedules, vaccine information, a list of the benefits of early immunization and more. The packet will also include a permission form for parents to sign and return if they choose to have their child vaccinated at school. Parents and guardians may join their child at their school’s clinic at the designated date and time, but attendance is not required.

Families that choose not to participate in the school-based flu clinic are encouraged to visit their healthcare provider or the Jones County Health Department and receive flu shots.

Flu vaccination is the first and most important step in flu prevention. Annual vaccines protect against the most common strains of the virus. Early vaccination is important; it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop defenses and provide antibodies against the flu. While the effectiveness of the shot can vary year to year, the flu shot will ensure that, even if you get the flu, your symptoms will not be severe, and you will not be sick for as long as an unvaccinated person.

In addition to the flu vaccines, there are other ways you can protect yourself against the flu by practicing personal germ protection:

  • Avoid contact with sick people; if you are sick, stay home.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Throw away tissues immediately after use; do not carry around used tissues for re-use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth.
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu.
  • If you experience flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

For more information about the flu and flu shot, visit NCHD52.org/Flu.

 

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