Planning for the Vaccination Clinic
School-Located Vaccination (SLV): Information for Planners
Planning for the Vaccination Clinic
In addition to the information provided below about planning for SLV clinics, please also see the more general guidelines for setting up large-scale vaccination clinics posted on the CDC influenza website.
There are two types of influenza vaccine, the inactivated, injectable formulation and the live, attenuated intranasal formulation. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm and is approved for individuals with chronic medical conditions. The nasal spray vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine that is sprayed in the nostrils. This vaccine is not recommended for everyone, and should not be used for individuals with certain chronic medical conditions. Planners of SLV clinics will need to determine if they plan to offer one or both of these types of influenza vaccine. Additionally, some children less than nine years of age may require two influenza vaccines this year. SLV clinic planners will need to determine if they will schedule clinics to offer second doses of influenza vaccine to these children.
Developing a timeline for implementation of a SLV clinic will help the program run smoothly and efficiently. Each SLV program is unique with differing resources available which may change the timing of certain events. Sample timelines can be found on National Association of County and City Health Officials [NACCHO] School-located Influenza Immunization School Kit. In addition, a generic sample timeline is provided below.
End of Previous School Year (April/May/June)
- Contact school districts and principals to enlist their support
- Identify possible clinic dates
- Contact other potential partners
- Develop materials (consent forms, letters and other documents) for parents/guardians
- Develop training material for vaccinators and school staff
- Begin coordinating clinic staff
Beginning of School Year (August/September/October)
- Schedule clinics
- Disseminate materials to parents/guardians and children
- Educate school staff
- Order clinic supplies
Clinic Operations (October/November/December)
- Review consent forms and determine eligibility of students
- Report any adverse events
Post-Clinic (December, January, February)
- Record vaccination in immunization registry
- Communicate with childrens' primary healthcare provider
- Prepare necessary reports
- Send thank-you letters to volunteers
Influenza SLV Leadership/Initiation
The first step in planning for SLV clinics is to form partnerships between the public health department and education agencies, as well as any other organization(s) that could assist in the SLV clinics. The public health department traditionally has led SLV efforts, but a school/school district or a private organization (e.g., a commercial community vaccinator) also could take primary responsibility. Regardless of who leads or initiates the SLV effort, these partnerships with public health are essential. SLV planners may choose or be required to establish a memorandum of understanding or a similar document, that identifies the roles and responsibilities of each partner (e.g., who will be the main contacts from public health and the school/school district, who will be responsible for collecting parental consent forms and communicating with parents/guardians).
If the public health department initiates the SLV program, the first step should be to contact school district superintendents, but, it is essential to also form partnerships with the school board and to communicate with and gain support of school principals, who ultimately oversee all activities within their school. Support of SLV clinics by school principals can help make program implementation easier and also increase student participation (Wilson, 2001). Where principals have the authority to make decisions on conducting/participating in SLV clinics autonomously, the reverse order of communication should be applied. It is recommended that principals be contacted toward the end of the school year prior to the year of the SLV clinic. When this is not possible, principals should be contacted about holding an SLV clinic in their school as early in the planning process as possible. A template letter to principals is provided [32 KB, 1 page].