(AKRON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL) Beginning this week, Akron Children’s will offer flu vaccines in a dozen school districts, making it easier and more convenient than ever to get children immunized.
“The best way to minimize or avoid the spread of influenza is to get an annual flu vaccine,” said Michele Wilmoth, director of School Health Services for Akron Children’s. “The vaccine protects against the new strains of the flu so it's important to get vaccinated annually.”
Akron Children’s partners with an organization called Health Heroes to provide the flu vaccine to all children whose parents consent to it, regardless or their health care coverage.
Flu vaccines are provided at no cost to students, parents, schools or local/state government. Medicaid and private insurers will be billed, however, students or their parents will never be billed for out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles. Qualifying uninsured students can be given the vaccine at no charge.
The participating schools and school districts are:
- Akron Public Schools
- Akros Middle School/Edge Academy
- Cuyahoga Falls City School District
- East Palestine City Schools
- Medina City Schools
- Nordonia Hills City School District
- Schnee Learning Center
- Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools
- Tallmadge City School District
- Warren City Schools
- Woodridge Local Schools
- Windham Exempted Village Schools
“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Wilmoth. “We can save parents a trip to the doctor and keep kids in class. If we get more kids immunized, we can reduce the risk of influenza in our schools and communities and we can especially reduce the risk for our more vulnerable children, such as those with chronic health conditions.”
The process of giving the flu shots should be as easy and orderly as each school’s student picture day, says Wilmoth.
The vaccinations will be administered by state-licensed nurses.
Health Heroes takes care of collecting consent forms and will bill private insurance carriers and Medicaid for the cost of the vaccine. The organization’s business model allows it to absorb the cost of vaccines for uninsured children. Teachers and school staff will also be offered the vaccine.