H1N1 vaccine distributed in schools - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

H1N1 vaccine distributed in schools

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

JEFF DAVIS COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Jeff Davis County School District has been plagued this school year by student absences due to illnesses. At least five students were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.

"It's been very serious," said Ike Haynes, Jeff Davis County School's superintendent. "We've lost so many instructional days to the swine flu and other influenza and it's been a real detriment to attendance here in our school district."

Haynes said his district is the first in the state to receive a portion of the states nearly 224,000 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine.

"There have been some deaths reported and so we are just using all the tools in our tool belt to provide healthy students and healthy opportunities for our kids," said Haynes.

Monday the state health department gave 153 shots to students at Johnson elementary school.

"The health department reached out to us and let us know that they had vaccines available and asked if we would be willing to work with them and we were," said Haynes.

Julianna Smith, a nurse with the school district, said the available shots are convenient for the students and parents.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for the parents not to have to take off from work or to pull the children out of school since the vaccines are right there at the school," said Smith.

Haynes also said all of the students who received the shot got consent from their parents. Now he is just hoping the shots have a big impact.

"Hopefully the outcome will be that we'll have less days of lost instruction, and we'll have less sick children around here in Jeff Davis County," said Haynes.

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