Flu Mist in school


Today was the deadline for signing the permission slip that will allow Harford County School officials to give my 8-year-old the Flu Mist vaccine either Oct. 12 or 13. I went ahead and signed it. Whether or not it gets out of his folder and into the teacher’s hands is another question entirely. Vaccinating all those kids who trade germs like Yu-Gi-Oh! cards seems like a good idea. And, they’re making it so convenient. The state, the Centers for Disease Control and vaccine manufacturer MedImmune are covering the approximately $16 a dose cost of the vaccine, according to a Baltimore Sun story. They’re administering the vaccinations during school so it doesn’t require a trip to the doctor’s office and the attendant co-pay. I’m just a little concerned about how he’ll cope on vaccine day. The Sun story states that teachers will get the vaccine first to prepare the kids. But I’m usually there with him when he gets his vaccinations. The last time he got a flu shot, my husband and I didn’t fill him in on the purpose of our trip to the clinic held at the Bel Air Athletic Club until he was seated in a chair in front of the nurse. I’m not sure if he’s forgiven us for that. That was the first year that flu shots were widely promoted and then suddenly the supply vanished. To get his required second dose, we had to enlist the help of a nurse in the family who had some extra supply in another state. I understand that Flu Mist is simply a spray up the nose and shouldn’t cause the pain of needle. But my kids don’t much like spray up the nose. Frankly, I can’t think of the last time I had something sprayed up my nose. I do know they go bananas when they get water up their noses. I’d like to be there when he gets the spray. And I’m hoping that the school will enlist parent volunteers to hold nervous kids’ hands. I’m curious to see how many parents do sign their kids up.
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And there are so many caveats that would make you ineligible to receive vaccine on vaccine day, like having a cold.
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I wonder how they’re going to determine whether a kid is too sick to get the vaccine. Will they leave it up to the kids to provide their own medical information? I’m very curious to see how this shakes out.

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