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Free Flu Vaccine Could Save the Lives of Local Students

Each year, about 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of flu complications. In 2013, 105 children died from the flu, and 90 percent of those children never received the flu vaccine.
Since December 8, students at 10 San Bernardino City Unified School District campuses are receiving free flu vaccines.
The free flu vaccines are available to District students thanks to a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and San Bernardino Public Health. Kaiser launched a flu vaccine clinic program last year in the Los Angeles Unified School District and Orange County schools. Based on the success of that program, Kaiser expanded the free flu vaccine clinics to schools in the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Those 10 elementary schools are Holcomb, Davidson, Jones, Hunt, Manuel Salinas, Kimbark, Palm Avenue, Muscoy, Monterey, and E. Neal Roberts.
The goals of the flu vaccine clinics are to improve student attendance rates and the health of students and their families.
According to the CDC, a student misses three or more days of school from catching the flu. That translates to about 38 million school days missed nationwide each year due to the flu.
The flu can also cause many medical complications. Minor complications include ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. More severe medical conditions resulting from the flu include pneumonia, heart attacks, inflammation of the heart, central nervous system disease, and worsening of existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
The flu vaccine can help prevent an individual from catching the flu or can reduce the severity of flu symptoms.
Jeanette Tupper-Shearer, BS, PHN, RN, is a strong supporter of the flu vaccine clinic. As a credentialed school nurse and past state board member of the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO), she understands the importance of keeping children healthy so they can be happy, successful students.
“School nurses in San Bernardino City Unified are Making Hope Happen by always working to improve the health of our students,” Tupper-Shearer said. “Bringing flu clinics into our schools is just one way we are doing that.”
For more information about the flu vaccine clinics, contact the San Bernardino City Unified School District’s Health Services Department at (909) 880-6839.

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