Sullivan high school students to get H1N1 vaccines next week

Rick Wagner • Nov 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Sullivan County’s H1N1 inoculation program that began this week in elementary and middle schools will move to the high schools next week.

By the end of the school day Tuesday, school system health supervisor Alisa Hearl said she expects the program — done in cooperation with the Sullivan County Regional Health Department — will have inoculated about 2,700 students in the roughly 11,800-student system.

On Monday, the H1N1 nasal mist and injectable H1N1 vaccine will be given at Sullivan North and Sullivan South high schools in the Kingsport area, followed by Tuesday events at Sullivan Central High School near Blountville and Sullivan East near Bluff City.

“We’re probably going to end up with 2,600 or 2,700 among our 27 schools,” Hearl said.

She said later, yet-to-be-scheduled events at the high schools likely will be open to the community, as the supply of vaccine is available, but the Monday and Tuesday events are for students.

The inoculations are free of charge.

Hearl, a health department employee whose position is funded by the school system, said she didn’t have statistics on how many of the vaccines were nasal versus injectable but that the majority are nasal.

“We absolutely are doing more nasal mist than injections,” Hearl said, adding that the injections generally are used only for students with asthma or other illnesses or health conditions that are not recommended to get the mist.

“The nasal is so much more convenient. It’s user friendly,” Hearl said. “They don’t get so upset if they see it’s the nasal mist.”

Today, the shots and mist will be given at Colonial Heights Middle School, Miller Perry and Rock Springs elementary schools, and Sullivan Elementary and Middle schools.

Amy Greear, spokeswoman for the Kingsport school system, said Thursday that H1N1 vaccinations are expected to be given at city schools in late November. Bristol, Tenn., schools also are to be in the program.

For more information visit the Sullivan County Schools Web site at www.scde.k12.tn.us, the Web site for Kingsport schools at http://kingsport.schoolfusion.us and the Bristol, Tenn., school system Web site at www.btcs.org.

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