AUBURN — Parents of Auburn students must return permission slips to their child's school before flu shots are given Tuesday and Thursday, Auburn School Department Assistant Superintendent Katy Grondin said.
Clinics for all Auburn students to receive the regular seasonal flu shot will be held Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Edward Little High School. The shots will be free.
All students need to have a permission slip completed and signed before the clinics. No child will receive a shot without a permission slip from the parent.
The forms have been sent home, but so far only 300 have been returned. Auburn schools have 3,623 students. Grondin is concerned that parents aren't paying attention, but will hear
about Tuesday's clinics and a rush will show up Thursday. If that
happens, "we're prepared for it," Grondin said. Parents who do not have a form should look through their child's backpack, Grondin said.
Officials are trying to avoid having parents show up at the clinics with the permission slip in hand because they need time to process the information and verify health records.
During the clinics, parents of children in grades prekindergarten through eight must accompany their child when they receive a shot. That's for a couple of reasons, Grondin said. One is so the parent can provide comfort to children getting a shot; the other is to answer questions. "We will be reviewing medical records, and if a child is not well, is running a fever or has any illness, that child may be denied a shot. Having a parent there will be helpful," Grondin said.
The flu shots are being given in most Maine schools to ward off the more serious H1N1 virus, which hits children harder than adults. That is why state officials have recommended all schools give shots at school. But before having the H1N1 vaccine, people must have the regular flu shot first. Students will be offered the H1N1 vaccine in October.
If parents have any questions, they should call their child's school, Grondin said.