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School shoos flu with free vaccines

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By Dwane Wilder

CAMPBELL COUNTY—Getting a flu shot isn’t something that generates a high level of excitement for most people.

However, saving $30 by not having to purchase one at a doctor’s office or health department is usually more than enough incentive to take a free flu shot such as those offered last week to all students and staff of Campbell County Public Schools.

More than 700 free flu shots and 1,600 doses of flu mist were administered by nurses from the Campbell County Health Department, Community Health of East Tennessee and Vital Care during visits to all 13 county schools.

The opportunity was made possible by a $75,000 grant from the LaFollette Medical Foundation. 

“It’s been very well received,” said Campbell County School Health Coordinator Johnny Bruce.

“You would not believe the volunteer help we’ve received. Danny Sheckles and Jay Muncy of Campbell County Emergency Services, those guys spent the whole week with me.”

The free flu shot tour began on Monday, Oct. 7 with stops at Valley View Elementary, LaFollette Elementary, LaFollette Middle and the Campbell County Learning Academy.

The next three days were spent at Caryville Elementary, Jacksboro Elementary, Jacksboro Middle, Campbell County High, Elk Valley School, Wynn School, White Oak School, Jellico Elementary/Middle and Jellico High.

All three elementary schools in the southern end of the county totaled more than 300 students and staff vaccinated against the flu. LaFollette Elementary had the most with 372, followed by Jacksboro Elementary with 343 and Caryville Elementary with 324.

Beginning Oct. 21, student nurses from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Jacksboro will begin doing body mass index calculations, blood pressure checks, vision screenings and hearing tests at the schools.

The BMI calculations and blood pressure checks will be conducted at two-grade intervals beginning with kindergarten and ending with one year of high school. All students will be screened for potential vision and hearing problems.

Bruce said it’s an overall effort by the school department to help Campbell County students be healthier, happier and ultimately more productive.

“Things are in place. We’ve just got to start implementing them,” said Bruce.

“Anywhere we’ve gone in the county, we’ve been well received. I’m excited about it.

“We’ve got nowhere to go but straight up.”