Flu clinics coming soon to Knox Co. schools

(AP Photo/Owen Humphreys, PA)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- With flu season coming quickly, Knox Co. health officials are taking their battle to the front lines - schools. Starting Sept. 16, the Knox Co. Health Dept. will begin setting up vaccination clinics in elementary and middle schools across the county, as well as some Head Starts, private schools, and child care centers.

“Children are known to be the major transmitter of the flu to other persons, including those who could be at high risk for complications, like the elderly and infants,” said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan.

“This collaborative effort creates a healthier community and helps keep our children in school and schools open.”

They will be vaccinating students with FluMist, which is delivered via a nasal spray and approved by the FDA for children as young as 2. Kids under 2 will have to get a flu shot instead.

All children who are getting vaccinated will need to provide a completed, signed, and returned consent form. Forms can be completed online at zippslip.com/knox. Paper consent forms are available at schools or online at knoxcounty.org/health.

A schedule of vaccination clinics is available at knoxcounty.org/health.

Children under 9 who have not previously received the flu vaccine will need two doses separated by at least a month. The second phase of the in-school vaccination program will begin in December.

To help pay for the vaccinations, KCHD will utilize several funding methods, including billing insurance. If families have insurance they may complete the insurance information on the consent form. KCHD will not charge co-pays or send bills to the parents. They say they will only bill the insurance companies.