FARMINGTON — RSU 9 school directors opted not to have a discussion at their  next meeting over concerns about using the nasal mist form of the flu vaccine for students.

Superintendent Tom Ward told the board Tuesday that a letter of concern had come in about the practice and possibly putting other students at risk of getting the flu.

After all the research that staff did, including with the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Ward said the staff feels as comfortable as possible that the mist vaccine should be allowed.

The school district is offering free clinics at the schools for students to get a flu vaccine with parents’ permission. The clinics begin Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Wilton schools.

The flu mist is a live virus, district nurse Karen Marceau said. The shot is an inactive virus, she said.

The mist is non-invasive and very well tolerated, especially by younger children, she told the board.

The concern was that students who receive the live vaccine could shed the flu virus and put others at risk.

“We researched this with the CDC and were reassured that the vaccine is safe and does not pose a danger to others. The nasal mist vaccine has been used successfully in many school-based clinics in the past and has been shown to reduce flu illness in the schools and community. Research shows that the many advantages of the nasal mist outweigh potential risks,” Marceau said.

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