The Alachua County Health Department is urging parents to fill out consent forms for a nasal vaccine called Flu Mist, a gentle nasal spray that serves as an alternative to conventional shots.
Flu Mist will be offered for free in local schools and day care centers in the upcoming weeks. The deadline for consent forms is Sept. 28 for elementary school students and Oct. 18 for middle school and high school students.
“Right now, we’re encouraging as many parents as possible to fill out the consent form that they need in order for their students to be immunized,” Alachua County Public School District Public Information Officer Jackie Johnson said. “It’s free, and it would be administered at the school, so it’s much more convenient for parents.”
Johnson said the administration of Flu Mist in schools is beneficial because it decreases the probability of students contracting and spreading the flu.
“It’s a miserable disease, and it certainly keeps kids out of school,” she said. “It can affect their families as well. Students are super spreaders.”
Emily Miller edited this story online.