Thomas County, Georgia --
The Thomas County Health Department, Southwest Health District
and Thomas County Central Middle School are working together to give the seasonal influenza vaccine to youngsters in the Public Health
district’s first school-based vaccine clinic.
“We’re excited to be part of this pilot program aimed at
enhancing the convenience and peace of mind of parents interested in
protecting their children against seasonal influenza,” said Thomas
County Health Department Director Carolyn Simmons.
The clinic is scheduled for Nov. 10 at Thomas County Central
Middle School, beginning when the school opens and concluding one hour before school buses depart. Only the nasal spray form of the vaccine will be offered, Simmons said.
“The vaccine is free. Letters were sent home Oct. 27 to
parents and guardians of the more than 1,600 students enrolled giving
them information about the vaccine and the opportunity to decide whether they wished to have their children vaccinated,” she said.
Parents must give their consent for their children to receive the
vaccine, and while they are welcome to be on hand the day of the clinic
when their children receive the vaccine, it is not a requirement, said
The nasal mist formula is only administered to healthy people, and the
parental consent contains a questionnaire that would acknowledge medical conditions that would prevent their children from getting the vaccine.
“We are excited to be a part of this partnership with the Thomas
County Health Department in providing this service for our children at
TCMS,” said Thomas County School Superintendent Dr. Jean Quigg.
“This collaborative opportunity is a way to promote health and
wellness in the Thomas County School System and in our community.”
In addition, the school system will be collecting data in conjunction
with the health department to see if the collaboration boosts attendance
at TCMS “because we know that there is a direct correlation between
student attendance and student achievement,” Quigg said.
“We are happy to answer any questions parents or the public may have
about the school-based influenza clinic at Thomas County Central Middle
School or about influenza vaccine in general,” Simmons said. “The
vaccine will protect against all three flu strains that are expected to
circulate this year.”
For more information, call the Thomas County Health Department at