by Victoria Ramirez | staff writer
Hoping to cut down on students out because of the flu, NEISD is giving parents the opportunity to get their kids flu shots on campus.
“The school has always wanted to find a way to keep students in school, I mean it’s better when you’re here then when you’re not,” Principal John Mehlbrech said. “We know the flu season is always an epidemic that occurs and some years it’s worse than others and so they coordinate with an outside organization called Healthy Schools and they operate this mobile flu shot clinic and they arrange with the districts as to what schools to go to in order to provide that service, and it’s for free, so it’s through the government.”
Some students are hesitant about getting the flu shots, which is why there is no idea about how many people will sign up and turn in permission slips to get the shot.
“That’s hard to say, it’s open to 3,000 of them, it’s really open to what we get back. The deadline is November 11 for us to get the forms back, my assumption, probably 200, but I wouldn’t know that till November 11,” Mehlbrech said.
The shots will be given out a week later at some time during school.
“ The actual shots are November 28 and are from 9-11 am and when we get all the information on the 11th we will compile it all then we have to figure out a way to make call slips so that the students will be get called out of their class, get their flu shots and then go back to class,” Mehlbrech said.
School administration has noticed a decline in school attendance during flu season making this option welcome on school campuses.
“I think it’s because it’s one of those things they assume it might be an epidemic, I know several years ago there was an H1N1 flu strand, many years ago, but it was a really big thing so they started doing this,” Mehlbrech said. “Every once in awhile this Healthy Schools group will get together and provide free shots for students. There always around for adults like at HEB or at your clinic, but now they are trying to reach out in your schools. Any student in NEISD, now when they are assigned for a school they are only assigned for Johnson students, or when they are at Tejeda they are only for Tejeda students, or for Lee, they are only for Lee, but only students that go here get to have these shots at that time.” Mehlbrech said.
Administration is hopeful this measure will help keep school attendance in check.
“Flu Shots like any flu shots for adults or students, is to provide a method that would allow them to stay healthy and not catch the flu, so you’re basically taking an antibiotic prior to getting the flu before flu season hits do you have a better chance of not getting sick,” Mehlbrech said.