Local Health Officials Bring Flu Shot to Schools

Posted at: 10/11/2012 6:38 PM
Updated at: 10/11/2012 8:03 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 News) -- Finding time to bring your kids in for flu shots is not always easy. That's why local health experts teamed up for the third year to bring students the shot in school. Thursday, the group wrapped up the program.

While it might look like this child is at the doctor's office, she's actually in the Holy Christ Elementary School Library.

Since September, a team of about 20 nurses and IT techs from Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center and Olmsted County Public Health have set up a sort of mobile clinic at 30 elementary schools.

"Working in schools, it just makes sense, schools and school nurses really want their students to be healthy um and just so it just makes sense to have the students to get vaccinated in schools," said Shaylene Baumbach, Health Educator with Olmsted County Public Health.

By bringing the shots to the students, the hope is to keep the flu away from schools and to help out parents.

"In a school system it can spread rapidly and this is kind of a community effort to try to help those kids in school to prevent the disease," said Mary Ann Kachelski, RN Manager at Olmsted Medical Center.

"It just takes that pressure off of the parents, the parent knows that their child is getting the vaccination, um there's no waiting in line and it just runs a little bit more smoothly," said Baumbach.

The library turned clinic allowed student's records to be pulled up depending on what clinic they regularly visit; footprints guided them to either Mayo Clinic or Olmsted County.

The nurses brought everything from hazardous waste disposals to an emergency kit featuring everything from juice to Epinephrine.

The clinics have been working together for three years, so a somewhat complicated process has become easy for them. And as quickly as they set up, they tear down, making their supplies and leaving the kids with a flu shot, and their library.

Olmsted County says around 2,000 students received the shot. They were able to visit more schools this year than they have in the past because of the Beacon Program.