The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 9, 2013

Time to prepare for flu season

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Area elementary students are receiving free flu vaccinations.

The Clinton County VNA and Genesis foundations are providing flu vaccines to elementary-aged children throughout the county. The new flu shot comes out each year in August or September. Community Health Manager Michele Cullen said this is the time for individuals to update their flu vaccine.

Each year, approximately 2,000 elementary students receive immunizations in Clinton County through the program. Cullen said last year this accounted for 46 percent of the students.

Genesis VNA nurses on Tuesday visited Jefferson and Whittier elementary schools.

Whittier Elementary School Nurse Jane Elsasser and volunteers helped oversee 148 vaccines being distributed to students between noon and 2 p.m. The injectable and nasal vaccinations were offered to any student whose parent completed the consent form.

“It has helped decrease the flu epidemic and increased our attendance and we are very appreciative,” Elsasser said.

Community Health Nurse Karolyn Meier said the vaccination does not harm the children and prevents them from taking the germs home to their families and younger siblings. She and another nurse vaccinated the students at Whittier.

“By one person getting a flu shot, it actually protects five people around them,” Cullen said.