Health officials are administering COVID-19 vaccines today and influenza vaccines on Nov. 16 on campus. OCPS partnered with Health Hero Florida to give students easy access to the vaccines.
The influenza vaccine is available to all students with parent permission. Students and their parents must fill out a consent form by Nov. 10 in order to participate. Students should turn the consent form into student services.
“The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu and complications from the flu in children,” nurse Ann Saxonis said.
The vaccination is free to all students, including ones without insurance. Parents should check the box on the consent form indicating whether or not they have insurance. No copay is required.
“Students who may not have access to health insurance or transportation to a physician will now have easy access to the flu vaccine,” Saxonis said.
Health Hero Florida works with schools to help prevent sickness among students. Their goal is to lower absenteeism.
The CDC recommends the influenza vaccine for everyone over 6 months old. The vaccine helps prevent people from catching the flu. Infants, the elderly, pregnant women and those with certain health and immune system conditions face greater complications from the flu. Flu season runs from Oct. to May each year.
Because the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines for children over 5 years old, OCPS and Health Hero Florida plan to open vaccination sites at various high schools. The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available on campus today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Locations and times for second-doses have not been announced.
Parents or legal guardians are required to accompany children getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Also, they must fill out the Department of Health’s consent form. The vaccine and booster are available to everyone, not just children and students. The clinic on campus does not require an appointment.
“I believe this is a good idea for the community because it provides a safe environment to receive a vaccine,” health academy junior Jayla Lopez said. “I am most looking forward to being able to provide families with a vaccine and knowing I did my part to decrease the spread.”