Schools Vaccinate Students

By Rory Devine and R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 11:08 PM PDT
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Schools Vaccinate Students

Staffers are giving 20,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine in local schools.

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San Diego schools began distributing 20,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine to students Tuesday.

Some very brave students at Horton Elementary School in Chollas View lined up to receive their dose. Horton is the first school in the San Diego Unified School District to begin handing out the vaccines.

Adminstrators said 400 were given over the last two days. More schools in the district are expected to vaccinate students Thursday and Friday.

School officials say this school is in an area that is considered undeserved, where parents have no health care, no local health clinic and limited transportation to get to someplace with the vaccine.

The school's principal, Robin McCulloch, said it was no pressure being the first school to administer the vaccine. She called it a blessing. "We knew it would be of assistance to parents who still don't have access to other medial care, so we knew it was really helpful for them to have it and we knew it would help them stay in school," she said.

Other school districts that began administering the vaccine this week include Chula Vista, South Bay, and Julian. Each district reports just one school has handed out the vaccines with more schools to be added Thursday and Friday.

There is a limited amount of vaccine -- 20,000 doses for 500,000 students -- with promises of more to come.

"We have heard loud and clear from county health officer Wilma Wooten that there will be more supplies coming in that it's gong to be a staged administration of vaccine, so we have to be patient," said Jim Esterbrooks with the County Office of Education.

Currently, the County's six public health centers and vaccination clinic report that they have very limited supplies of H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. Nasal spray vaccine is for healthy individuals in the CDC priority groups which include children and young adults 2 to 24 years-old, and household contacts (25 to 49 years old) of infants less than 6 months.

Nasal spray vaccine is not approved for use in people with ongoing medical conditions or women who are pregnant, according to county health workers.

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