MPS Offers Swine Flu Shots

Nurse Robbie McKee with the Meridian Public School District says it's up to parents whether or not their children get the swine flu vaccine.

Meridian Public Schools is making the shots available throughout the district starting next week.

Before a student can get vaccinated, his or her parent must sign all of the required paperwork. That includes a sheet like this from the health department, and also an additional sheet that will be attached from the district giving permission.

"The parent will be required to, 'Yes, I want my child to have it,' or 'No, I don't want my child to have it'," said McKee.

Parents of children at most Meridian Public Schools are expected to receive the permission forms Monday during parent/teacher conferences.

"I do need to add this, that any child under the age of 9 will be required to get two shots. It's just the protocol that the CDC has established that children that young need a second booster shot to build up immunities," said McKee.

Parents are encouraged to go to their child's school on the day of the vaccinations to monitor. However, McKee says they should not bring other children to the school to get a shot. A contractual agreement only allows the vaccinations to be given to school age children.

McKee said parents should give this serious consideration.

"I know that 76 children in the U.S. have died with the swine flu and complications from that. We've had 10 people in Mississippi to die from the swine flu and two of those were children. But it all boils down to the parent's decision," said McKee. "We know that immunization is a good way to fight this."

The shots are being offered free of charge through the state health department and state department of education.


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