School officials conferencing with health officials on school shots

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Late Tuesday, Pearl River Central and Picayune school officials were in conferences with local health officials, scheduling planned swine flu shots to be administered to school students.

The only available schedule at press time was for the Poplarville school system.

Poplarville school Supt. Carl Merritt said that swine flu shots are scheduled to be administered to district students Nov. 16 through 18.

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He said students receiving the inoculations will have to have a signed release from their parents or guardians. He said the shots are free.

Poplarville’s school schedules and locations are:

Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lower Elementary, and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Middle School; Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Upper Elementary school; and on Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school.

Officials said the shots will be given by injection.

Right now the only available swine flu shots in the county are being administered at the county Health Department at Carriere.

Officials said that the shots are being administered on a priority basis: Children six months to the age of 4, pregnant women, and parents, siblings, caregivers and anyone else living in the house with an infant under six months of age, and 25 to 65 year olds with underlying illnesses.

However, officials at the health department said right now that supplies of swine flu vaccine are good and they are not turning anyone away who requests the shot.

The vaccine is given at the Health Department through injection.

Swine flu vaccine is now available at all county health departments clinics throughout the state.

So far, 373,900 swine flu doses have been allocated to Mississippi, according to a State Dept. of Health press release on Monday.

Of those doses, 270,200 are injectable vaccine and 103,700 are nasal mist vaccine.

A total of 85,390 swine flu doses of vaccine have been allocated to the county clinics throughout the state. A county’s allocation is based on population.

State health officials also said that so far 51,400 doses have been allocated for schools.

Currently, 422 schools have been adopted by the State Health Dept.for vaccinations and 417 by private healthcare providers. Seventy-two schools have adoptions pending, officials said.

The vaccination of a half-million Mississippi school children will take several weeks to complete, state health officials said.

For more information you can visit or call toll-free 1-877-222-9flu (9358).