DeSoto County Schools to offer Swine Flu vaccines to all students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto County Schools to offer Swine Flu vaccines to all students

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - One Mid-South school district will soon make Swine Flu shots available for all its students.

The Mississippi State Health Department will offer the new H1N1 influenza vaccine to students of DeSoto County Schools as soon as the vaccine arrives in mid-October.

"The more kids we have vaccinated then the spread in that school, community, business, or wherever you are is less," Dr. Alfio Rausa of the Mississippi Department of Health said.

Officials say letters will be sent out to parents at least three days before the vaccination is given.  Parents, like Geri Hill, will have to grant permission for their children to get the vaccination.

"There's going to be a consent form sent home and we'll have the option to say yes or no," Hill said.

Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson emphasized the vaccinations would be optional.

"The Centers for Disease Control is not recommending you make it mandatory for students, or that you shut down schools if everybody doesn't get them," Johnson said.

There are currently over 31,000 students in the district.  The plan is to vaccinate students because they are in the high priority group.

"It's an opportunity to prevent disease which could have serious consequences for our population," Rausa said. "Certain populations more than others."

Officials are currently putting together a team of nurses, volunteers and health officials to help administer the vaccine.  School officials say while the vaccine is necessary to prevent the spread of Swine Flu, they also want to let parents know that the vaccine is safe.

School officials say it will probably take about two weeks to get the all the students vaccinated.

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