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Populations Identified for Vaccination, When to Hold Clinics

School-Located Vaccination (SLV): Information for Planners

Population(s) Identified for Vaccination

Planners will need to identify which population(s) will be offered the opportunity to be vaccinated. The information contained in this document focuses on vaccination of enrolled students. Although most enrolled students will be school-aged (5-18 years), planners should be aware that some schools include students who are older than age 18 or younger than age 5.

Planners may also decide to include the following populations, for example:

  • Students attending nearby schools other than the school where the SLV clinic will take place
  • Home-schooled children and/or school-aged children who are not enrolled in school for other reasons
  • School staff
  • Students' siblings and other family members
  • Other members of the community

Many factors will affect the decision to include persons other than students of the school where the SLV clinic will be held, including vaccine supply or which populations would most benefit from vaccination according to local influenza epidemiology.

When to Hold SLV Clinics

Planners will also need to decide whether to hold SLV clinics before, during, and/or after school hours. Below are some benefits and challenges to consider when making decisions on when to hold SLV clinics.

SLV during school hours

Benefits
  • Parents/guardians do not need to take time off work because their children can be vaccinated without them being present.
  • Children are present in large numbers.
  • Vaccinations can be conveniently provided to school staff, if desired and appropriate.
  • Because parental consent is obtained prior to the clinic, there is some lead time during which planning for adequate staffing, vaccine, and medical supplies can take place.
Challenges
  • Parental consent to vaccinate children must be obtained ahead of time; coordination will be required to send consent forms to parents/guardians and allow time for them to be returned to school officials.
  • Some parents/guardians may not consent to vaccination of their children without being present (but parents/guardians entering the school during the SLV clinic could be logistically problematic).
  • Disruption of class time may be unacceptable to parents, students, and school administrators

SLV before/after school hours

Benefits
  • Parental consent to vaccinate children can be obtained at the time of service, avoiding the challenges of getting consent forms to, and back from, parents/guardians.
  • Clinics could be held in one or several centrally-located schools instead of every school, which may be cost-saving and more feasible for planners and those who conduct the clinic.
  • Persons other than school-aged children can be vaccinated, if desired, appropriate, and logistically feasible.
Challenges
  • Extending school hours may require overtime for vaccinators and school staff, incurring additional expenses.
  • Parents/guardians may find it difficult to bring the child to clinics held in the evenings or on the weekends.

In addition, regardless of whether an influenza SLV clinic is held during or before or after school hours, school officials may need to consult with local union representatives if holding such a clinic has an impact on staff members' rights under a collective bargaining agreement.

 

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