H1N1 vaccines postponed until further notice at high school

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Update: Carmel Clay Schools has postponed vaccinating secondary school students until further notice since there is a higher risk for elementary school students to receive the H1N1 virus, and because students under nine years of age must receive two vaccines about 28 days apart, whereas high school students only need one.

During the week of Nov. 16, the school will be hosting vaccinations for the H1N1 virus. The Visiting Nurse Service will administer the vaccine.

“The VNS is a non-profit home health care agency and is responsible for numerous vaccine clinics,” school nurse Carol Gelatt said. To get the vaccine, students must have a parent sign a consent form that was given to students during SRT Nov. 2. If a student did not receive one, they can pick one up in the nurse’s office. Groups recommended to receive the H1N1 vaccine are those between the ages of six months and 24 years, especially those who live with or care for infants younger than six months of age.

“Students should check with their health care provider first to see if they should get the vaccine, because everyone’s an individual,” Gelatt said.

A vaccine is an injection of deadly or weakened virus cells to stimulate the antibodies, which causes a person’s body to build up immunity to the virus. The H1N1 virus, also known as Swine Flu, spreads from one person to another from coughing, sneezing and touching objects that have been contaminated. The symptoms of this virus include fatigue, chills, sore throat, fever, coughing, sneezing and muscle aches.

Mild risks of receiving the H1N1 vaccine include soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling near the injection site. Also, fainting, headache, muscle aches, fever and nausea can occur. Students can’t receive the vaccine if they have a serious allergy, especially to eggs, if they have had a serious reaction to a previous flu vaccine or if they have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a type of temporary severe muscle weakness. By Katie Walstrom <kwalstrom@hilite.org>

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