Health Dept.'s School-Located Flu Vaccination Clinics Start Sept. 17

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Health Dept.'s School-Located Flu Vaccination Clinics Start Sept. 17

Posted: 09/14/2012
The eighth year of the school-located influenza vaccination program (also known by the intranasal vaccine's brand name: FluMist) will begin on Sept. 17 and both the online consent site and papers forms are available for parents to enroll their children now.

Parents who want their child vaccinated against influenza at his or her school can go to It only takes a few minutes, and offers the ability to receive scheduled updates and confirmations privately throughout the vaccination campaign if so desired. It also provides important notes and data for in-school clinic staff who will use tablet computers to securely access consent data.

"The online consent is a real time saver," said John Lott, KCHD director of clinical services who oversees the school-located flu vaccination program. "This year we've added the QR codes to the inschool posters and other signage so parents can enroll their child from their phone when they drop them off at school."

Paper consent forms also are available from the schools and online at No child will be vaccinated without a completed, signed and returned consent form.

This year's school-located vaccination clinics will be conducted between Sept. 17 and Oct. 12, offering FluMist intranasal vaccine. A detailed schedule is located on the KCHD and the Knox County Schools websites. Children who miss their school clinics may visit any KCHD location for a free influenza vaccine.

Due to decreased federal and state funding to buy vaccine, KCHD will be billing insurance for children who have insurance and parents are asked to provide their insurance information on the consent forms. KCHD will accept assignment and no costs will be passed on to the parents.

To help cover vaccine cost for children without insurance, a new donation feature also is available. Parents can donate during the consent process. The general public can donate vaccine through KCHD's website at or the Metropolitan Drug Commission's website at MDC is partnering with KCHD to make the donations possible. Donations are tax deductible and all funds go directly to an account specified to purchase vaccine.

Knox County's School-located Influenza Vaccination Clinics have successfully reduced the amount of flu in the community over the last seven years. Studies have shown - and this community's experience has borne out - that vaccinating children against influenza keeps them healthy and has a ripple effect through the community that protects young and old alike. Since the inception of the school flu vaccination program eight years ago, only one Knox County school has closed due to flu, and that was in the early days of the H1N1 pandemic due to CDC protocol which was later changed.

Flu immunization not only prevents the flu, but reduces overall respiratory illness rates, lost works days and doctor visits. Overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having a flu vaccination saves every person $47, three times the cost of getting your child vaccinated at school. The average person loses $92 a year in wages from sick days. Every year, the flu causes American workers to miss up to 70 million workdays, or the lifetime work of 6,137 American workers.

Knox County's in-school influenza vaccination program began in 2004 and was underwritten through a grant from MedImmune, the makers of FluMist, an intranasal flu vaccine which requires no needles. Through careful resource management, public health officials were able to utilize the MedImmune money for more than one year. After that, KCHD leveraged federal and state vaccination programs which provided free vaccine for children to keep the program viable. Suddenly last spring, the federal and state programs which had provided the free vaccine were greatly reduced, leaving the program's future in jeopardy.

With an organizational vision of "Every Person a Healthy Person," Knox County Health Department is committed to promoting public health policies and practices to safeguard and improve quality of life for all residents. KCHD is responsible for disease surveillance, prevention and control, emergency preparedness, air quality management, ensuring food safety in public places, providing nutritional programs, family planning, immunizations and much more. More information can be found by visiting