WCPS and WCHD partner to provide flu vaccinations

WCPS and WCHD partner to provide flu vaccinations

Officials with the Washington County Health Department (WCHD) and the Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) are coordinating a program to provide free influenza vaccinations for all elementary school students, and for adult professional and support staff under the age of 49, in all WCPS elementary schools. Thanks to a program available through the State of Maryland, the WCHD will offer the free nasal spray vaccine prior to the onset of the flu season. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary, and students must receive parental permission prior to receiving the vaccine.
"We are planning to provide the vaccinations in late October," said Ed Masood, Supervisor of Health & Physical Education, Fine Arts, & Athletics. According to Masood, school systems in Calvert and Carroll counties piloted the program last year, and all other Maryland counties have the opportunity to participate in the program this year. The program is not mandated, but is strongly recommended by Governor Robert Ehrlich, along with state school and health officials.
General informational letters about the program will be mailed home to parents of all elementary students in mid-September. By October 1, parents will receive follow-up letters including a parental consent form and detailed information that must be returned to schools by October 5. The vaccine is scheduled to be given to students and staff the week of October 23, with make-up vaccinations provided during the week of October 30. In addition, students under the age of 9 will receive a booster in January 2007. Specific medical information regarding the vaccination program is available from the Washington County Health Department at 240-313-3256.