MADISON (WKOW) -- The last thing the Madison-Dane County Health Department wants is a rush on doctors' offices as the flu season thickens. There are 180 public and private schools with more than 80,000 students enrolled.
"If we tried to get all those kids into their private doctors, it would never work," said immunization program coordinator Cheryl Robinson.
Citing a need to give parents a more efficient option, there is now a working schedule for staggered clinics to vaccinate students for the H1N1 flu virus at all schools between next week and the Thanksgiving Day break.
"With any luck, we'll be able to get the vaccine out there before kids start getting sick," she said.
Robinson is helping coordinate the massive effort. She said temporary staff are being hired, along with help of private health providers.
Consent forms are going out to parents about one week before their student's scheduled clinic. Children under ten years old will also need a second shot at a later clinic.
"We're doing six to eight schools a day for those four or five weeks, and the health department doesn't have that kind of staff," she said.
Doses of the H1N1 vaccine became available last week in limited quantities. The first of the school's flu clinics here will take place next Monday at select schools in Marshall, Middleton-Cross Plains, and McFarland.
Madison Metropolitan School District is among those whose clinics begins later.
"We're doing everything we can to not disrupt the school day for teaching and for school staff," said Health Services Coordinator Freddi Adelson. "We're hoping this flows smoothly, we've done a lot of planning to make sure it does."
The clinics won't begin until the health department receives both the nasal and shot forms of the vaccine.
Either way, Robinson insists the H1N1 versions will be as safe as any other flu vaccine, echoing statements on Sunday from a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I feel confident in the safety of the vaccine," she said.
Keep in mind, the city-county health department hasn't actually received the vaccines yet. If they don't arrive by the time of the first clinics next week, some rescheduling will need to take place. About two dozen private schools haven't been scheduled yet. For questions about H1N1 or seasonal flu, call 608-243-0555. Email Carl Agnelly at email@example.com ********
Keep in mind, the city-county health department hasn't actually received the vaccines yet. If they don't arrive by the time of the first clinics next week, some rescheduling will need to take place.
About two dozen private schools haven't been scheduled yet.
For questions about H1N1 or seasonal flu, call 608-243-0555.
Email Carl Agnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON (WKOW) -- Parents with children in any Dane County school should be expecting to receive consent forms for future H1N1 vaccination clinics in about the next week.
Officials with Public Health Madison and Dane County has developed a tentative schedule for vaccination clinics at virtually every school in the county between October 19 and November 20.
To view the schedule, click here.
At the clinics, the plan is to only offer the H1N1 vaccine, not one for the seasonal flu.
The Madison Metropolitan School District posted information and consent forms dated today on its website.
Carl Agnelly is looking into how schools are dealing with the vaccination; stay tuned to our web site WKOWTV.com and watch 27 News tonight at 5, 6 and 6:30.
She's planning for the case that 75-percent of students will hit up these clinics at their school.