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Flagler Health Department Increases In-School Flu Vaccinations by 13 Percent

By Gretchen Smith

November 19, 2019

Bunnell, FL — Since the beginning of November, nurses and volunteers from the Florida Department of Health in Flagler (DOH-Flagler) have been busy visiting schools in Flagler County and administering flu vaccine to students and staff.

This year, the health department vaccinated 1,391 students and 114 faculty members, a 13 percent increase over 1,331 vaccinated (1,242 students/89 staff) in the 2017-18 school year.

“We were able to vaccinate 174 more individuals this year through our in-school flu clinics,” said Robert Snyder, health officer for DOH-Flagler. “That’s progress -- almost 150 more parents chose to protect their students and 25 more staff/faculty took advantage of this free and convenient service. More importantly, increasing the number of people vaccinated helps reduce vulnerability and makes our schools healthier places to learn and work.”

Through its comprehensive School Health Services Program, the health department works in tandem with the district supervising school nurses, conducting annual screenings, reviewing student immunization records, and ensuring statutory requirements are met. The health department offers all mandatory childhood immunizations at its Bunnell headquarters for free, and partners with the district to bring some enhanced services to students during the school day with parental consent. Doing so promotes health equity, gives children increased access to care, improves vaccination rates and reduces the amount of time students miss school for  doctor appointments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine every year as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications. The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women.

Flu vaccines may not entirely prevent illness but can reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications. It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for a body to develop protection against the flu, and proper and frequent handwashing can help flu from spreading. Students who missed the in-school clinics can still get free flu shots at the health department weekdays between 8AM and 4:30PM.

For more information, please call 386-313-7067.

About the Florida Department of Health

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

For information about the Florida Department of Health in Flagler, go to flagler.floridahealth.gov, call 386-437-7350, or visit 301 Dr. Carter Blvd. in Bunnell.