AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday the state’s biggest school based flu vaccine program kicks off in Pflugerville. The goal is to get elementary students at 55 schools the flu vaccine for free. Elementary schools in Pflugerville, Taylor, Manor, and Hays counties as well as 12 elementary schools in Austin have been selected for a new pilot program that will study if getting kids vaccinated against the flu keeps them healthier during the school year. Health professionals will provide students with the Flu Mist vaccine which means no shots.
E3 Alliance is behind this program – they are a local education collaborative that has teamed up with St. David’s and Seton among others to fund this flu vaccination program. The hope is that thousands of students will be vaccinated and then data concerning absentee rates can be looked at to determine if the flu vaccine keeps kids and their parents from getting sick because elementary school aged students are considered the most vulnerable to the flu.
“We know from the studies we have done that almost half of the absences are due to acute illness like flu. So if we can immunize many more students we can protect them, their families, and protect the community from the high cost of lost work time, school time, and absences,” said Susan Dawson, President of E3 Alliance.
Parents of students need to fill out the consent form sent home to get their child vaccinated.
“They don’t need to be there, they don’t need to take off of work, they don’t need to have any out of pocket expense, they just need to fill in the consent form and get it in this week,” said Dawson.
The vaccinations begin on Monday and run all next week.
Wednesday morning UT football great Vince Young along with Senator Kirk Watson will be at Windermere Elementary School in Pflugerville to encourage parents to take advantage of these free flu vaccines.
To view news video:
Free Flu Vaccine for Elementary Students in 5 Districts