The Sayre Area School District is the first district in the state to begin administering H1N1 vaccine to students, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), who said he is pleased that school administrators are taking proactive steps to keep children healthy during the flu season.
Yaw said the school district had an in-service day on Friday, October 16, which allowed the school to be used as a site to administer the vaccine. He added that approximately 500 to 600 students arrived with their parents to take advantage of this opportunity.
“The H1N1 vaccine is the best protection that we can offer to students against this very serious virus, and I am glad that so many students took advantage of this opportunity,” Yaw said. “The Sayre Area School District should be commended for working with the Department of Health and the State Health Center in Bradford County to offer this immunization to our students.”
According to the Department of Health, the H1N1 virus is disproportionately affecting school-aged children, with almost two-thirds of all cases in Pennsylvania seen in those aged 5-24 years.
The Sayre Area School District is using the live, attenuated influenza vaccine, or LAIV, also known by the brand name FluMist. This vaccine is a nasal spray and is licensed for healthy persons between 2-49 years of age. This vaccine is not recommended for some members of the other priority groups, including pregnant women, children under two years of age, those with certain underlying health conditions, and healthcare providers who care for patients with significant impairments to their immune system. The Department of Health will also provide the injectable form of the flu vaccine.
Children under 10 years of age will need to receive a second dose of the vaccine at least 21 days after their first dose. Those students are scheduled to get their second dose on November 13. The Department of Health will work with the school district to ensure there will be vaccine available to those students who need to receive the second dose.
Contact: Rita Zielonis