Hendersonville, NC (October 7, 2020) ¾ In partnership with Henderson County Public Schools, the Henderson County Department of Public Health will be providing drive-through flu vaccine clinics at local high schools on Oct. 13, 14, 15, and 19. The flu vaccine will be offered to children, staff and parents in Henderson County Public Schools and charter schools on the following dates:
Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 4-6 p.m. at West Henderson High
Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 4-6 p.m. at Hendersonville High
Thursday, Oct. 15 from 4-6 p.m. at East Henderson High
Monday, Oct. 19 from 12-4 p.m. at North Henderson High
School staff and family members may visit any drive-through clinic regardless of which school in the county they or their children attend. No appointment is needed. The vaccine is available for those without insurance at no cost. Face coverings are required.
Parents, students and staff should come prepared with their insurance cards, as well as completed vaccine consent forms. Consent forms for students will be sent to HCPS families through SwiftK12 email notifications, and are linked at www.HCPSNC.org/parents. Consent forms for adults are on the HCDPH website at www.HendersonCountyFlu.org.
Since 2015, HCPS and the HCDPH school nurses have collaborated to annually provide flu vaccination clinics to students in schools during the school day, as a convenience to families and to support community public health.
The traditional annual flu vaccination clinics in every single school has not been feasible this school year, the increased responsibilities of HCDPH school nurses to perform COVID-19 screening and contact tracing, social distancing and building capacity requirements, and the restructured school day schedules.
However, the four flu vaccination clinics on high school campuses after school hours still support the initial goal of the school immunization initiative – to raise flu vaccination rates in order to prevent students from getting and spreading the flu, and ultimately reducing the burden of the flu on the community.
“Our health department and school nurses have been doing a tremendous job supporting our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and their workload is only going to increase as we move into flu season,” said HCPS Superintendent Bo Caldwell. “We’re hoping we can support them by providing four regional locations that can accommodate socially distanced drive-thru lines, and meet the needs of our families who’ve expressed continued interest in receiving flu vaccines at the schools.”
In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February, according to HCDPH. Flu vaccines can make illness milder and reduce the risk of more serious outcomes. It’s important to protect those in the community at high risk of complicated or severe flu infections such as children, pregnant women, seniors and those with medical conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes.
“The flu strains in the vaccine this year are new,” said HCDPH Medical Director Dr. Diana Curran. “While this should give us better protection, it also may cause more side effects such as a sore arm, low-grade temperature or feeling fatigued for a few days. This is just an immune response to the flu vaccine. The vaccine does not contain any live virus so it cannot infect you.”
A separate clinic for the general public is at the health department on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Hendersonville.