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Local schools hold H1N1 clinics today

Several school-based H1N1 vaccination clinics will be operating throughout the county today.

“The Alabama Department of Health will be providing this service for our kids,” said Melissa Scarbrough school nurse for Troy City Schools.

Clinics will be set up at all three schools in the Troy city school system, as well as Pike County schools in Banks, Goshen and Brundidge. Pike Liberal Arts School and the Alternative Learning Center will also have clinics.

Debbie Baker, clinic supervisor for the Pike County Health Department, said running the clinics will require many health care professionals.

“It’s such a large undertaking, they’ve had to get a team together to go into the schools,” she said. “We’ll be doing injectable vaccines, and we’re concentrating on kids 10 years old and above.”

According to the ADPH, vaccination is the best way to protect against H1N1. The department began this latest immunization campaign by providing materials to be sent home with students.

“They sent out packets and permission forms for the students to take home,” Scarbrough said.

But not all parents have decided to take advantage of the school-based clinics.

“It’s been less than 100,” Scarbrough said. “But uptake has pretty much followed the national standard. The response just hasn’t been so great nationwide.”

Officials at PLAS are pleased with the turnout they’ve seen.

“We’ve had a very positive response so far,” said Headmistress Ceil Sykes. “About 25 percent to one-third of our students are participating in this, and we’ve also had some parents take their kids to private doctors,” she said. “It’s certainly voluntary, but I think it’s a wonderful thing the health department does for the community. We think it has worked wonders so far and we just hope we can see continued success and keep these children in school.”