Thursday December 10, 2009
More than 17,600 students and staff at 65 area schools were vaccinated against the H1N1 virus during the first week of the school immunization campaign lead by the Department of Public Health and Wellness.
“We are extremely pleased with the response and how smoothly the clinics have flowed,” said Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Adewale Troutman. “It shows that a huge number of parents want their children to be protected from H1N1 and are taking advantage of the school immunization campaign.”
“It also is a fine example of community partners coming together to fulfill an urgent need. We couldn’t do this without the cooperation and support of administrators and faculty at the schools, PTA volunteers and the nurses provided by Norton Healthcare,” said Troutman.
“With few exceptions, the first week has gone very smoothly,” said Bonnie Ciarroccki, Coordinator of Health Services for the Jefferson County Public Schools. “Our school staff has been efficient in processing consent forms and in making the immunization experience easy on the students. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of our JCPS staff, parents, and Public Health and Wellness and Norton partners in making this effort such a success.”
Norton Healthcare is contributing to the school immunization campaign by providing 25 nurses and 10 support staff each day.
“We’re proud to be able to contribute to this monumental public health effort that has gotten off to such a successful start,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Norton Healthcare. “In the face of widespread H1NI concerns, our organization, which includes Kosair Children’s Hospital, can think of no better investment in the health of our community than by helping protect our children from H1N1.”
The school immunization campaign will last through December 18. This is the most ambitious school immunization effort in Louisville since the Salk Polio Vaccine trial of the 1950s. Immunizations are being given at each of Jefferson County’s 90 public elementary schools, 24 middle schools and 21 high schools. Immunizations are also being given at each of the community’s 39 Catholic elementary schools and eight Catholic high schools as well as at numerous other private schools. The immunizations are voluntary and free with each student needing a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
Metro Public Health and Wellness also immunized more than 22,000 children and adults at public H1N1 clinics held in November at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, at the Urban Government Center and at New Zion Baptist Church. It has also distributed more than 95,000 doses to 282 hospitals and health care providers throughout the community.