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Schools districts vary on H1N1 vaccine

Wed., Oct. 7, 2009

North Idaho kids can get it at school; Spokane kids can’t

Students in North Idaho’s public and private schools will bring home permission slips this week to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine at school.

Panhandle Health District is working with schools to provide the vaccine to students who receive permission, a district news release said.

Vaccines will not be administered at Spokane Public Schools sites, or in other surrounding school districts, officials said.

Instead, Spokane-area families are being encouraged to attend free clinics provided by the Spokane Regional Health District, beginning Oct. 24 at various YMCA sites.

Spokane Public Schools offers a free influenza clinic at two elementary school sites, typically in October or November, but those clinics will not include H1N1 vaccinations, said Kathe Reed-McKay, the school district health services coordinator.

The North Idaho health district plans to begin vaccinations in schools by Oct. 19.

Children are a priority as the virus has hit the 25-and-under age group in the greatest numbers, the release said.

The school vaccinations will continue through early December.

Children 10 and older will receive one dose; those younger than 10 will need two doses three to four weeks apart for maximum protection, the release said.

The health district plans to start vaccinations for the general public in Idaho’s five northern counties at the end of October, providing the supply of vaccines is adequate.

Dates and locations will be announced when the supply is confirmed.

Some medical offices will carry the vaccine.

The health district will list those providers on its Web site,

Health district vaccinations are free, but private medical offices may charge for office visits, the release said.

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