Hillsborough gears up for swine flu vaccinations
TAMPA -- Parents, it's time to check students' book bags for some crumpled but important forms.
Permission slips for in-school inoculations against swine flu are going home this week, with vaccinations due to start Monday at some special-needs sites in the Hillsborough County school system. That campaign is due to be broadened to all students during the week of Oct. 26, with middle and high school students getting shots during school hours and elementary students being vaccinated after school in their parents' presence. No students will be vaccinated without their parents' permission, officials said.
The district has also posted the forms on a special page of its Web site, along with information sheets on the H1N1 vaccines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And automated phone calls will be going out starting today.
Parents will have to do their homework. The permission slip asks them to choose between two kinds of vaccine -- one with a live, weakened form of the virus in nasal mist form, and an inactivated vaccine in shot form. They can also choose to get inoculated against the seasonal flu.
But don't look for help from the school district in making those decisions. They're providing the space, but the county Health Department is doing the inoculating with contract nurses.
"We included the information sheets to help them make an informed choice," said district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.
Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer