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Free flu shots available for students and community residents

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Flu season has arrived early and with a vengeance.  

With illnesses, including the flu, to blame for high numbers of staff and student absences as well as a one day vacation for Campbell County Schools, taking a proactive approach to preventing future outbreaks is imperative.

For the fifth year straight year St. Mary’s of Campbell County is providing the invaluable  service of offering all school aged children free flu vaccines.  As an outreach to the community St. Mary’s staff will administer the vaccines on site at each of the county’s schools.

All students grades Pre-K through 12th grade were provided a consent form that must be returned to respective schools no later than Sept. 18.

Doses of flu mist will be available for children in preschool through 5th grade. Sixth through 12th graders may choose the flu shot option.

According to Emily Noss, public relations and marketing director for St. Mary’s, providing flu vaccines at the school level has lessened the impact of the virus on the community.

“We’ve had extraordinary results because we haven’t seen as many cases of the flu at the hospital,” Noss reported.

In addition to the school clinics, St. Mary’s staff will also be holding a community clinic on October 3 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the LaFollette Church of God.

At this time free flu vaccines will be made available to Campbell County residents ages 18 and older. Pregnant women will be required to obtain a signed release from their doctor prior to receiving the vaccination.

For more information concerning the free flu vaccines, contact St. Mary’s Medical Center at 907-1200.