Promotion, Frequently Asked Questions
School-Located Vaccination (SLV): Information for Planners
SLV Clinic Promotion and Education
Education of students and parents, as well as school staff, may contribute to the success of SLV programs (Wilson, 2001; Guajardo, 2002).
Students may be more likely to participate in a SLV program when they thoroughly understand the benefits and risks of vaccination. Classroom-based instruction and school-wide assemblies have been effective in educating students prior to immunization (Wilson, 2000; Boyer-Chuanroong, 1997; Woodruff, 1996). For schools willing to include classroom-based instruction as an element of their vaccination program, planners may consider providing teachers and school nurses with ideas for lesson plans (Goldstein, 2001). This represents an ideal opportunity to emphasize the importance of influenza vaccination as well as hygienic measures that can reduce transmission of influenza virus and other common causes of illness in children.
Of course, because parents/guardians must provide consent for children to be vaccinated, parent education also is important. Information about the SLV clinic should be disseminated as early in the school year as possible, especially if advanced consent has been determined to be feasible (Note: advanced consent issues are discussed below under “Timing and Procedures on Obtaining Consent”). Consent forms and other SLV informational materials can be sent home with other school documents distributed to parents at the beginning of the school year. A variety of methods, including public service announcements, radio campaigns, bulletins, and announcements on school websites, have been used to promote vaccination programs to parents/guardians (see: National Association of County and City Health Officials [NACCHO] School-located Influenza Immunization School Kit). Messages may also emphasize the importance of influenza vaccination and other means to prevent the spread of influenza and other illnesses. Depending on the availability of resources, public health departments may establish a telephone line or provide a website or email address parents could use to access information and ask questions in the weeks before, during, and after the vaccination program (Carpenter, 2007).
Teachers and Other Staff
In past SLV clinics, teacher support and participation has been perceived to be linked to the success of SLV programs, and students have reported that teacher influence was an important factor in returning consent forms (Tung, 2005; Unti, 1997). As mentioned in the “Planning for Adequate Staff” section, it is important that school staff are educated about the vaccination program. Educated school staff are able to answer questions from parents and others about the program, and are more likely to emphasize the importance of vaccination and provide vaccination-related lessons to students (Tung, 2005; Boyer-Chuanroong, 1997). After-school teacher workshops have been used as a method of educating school staff (Boyer-Chuanroong, 1997; Unti, 1997; Goldstein, 2001).
Frequently Asked Questions
A frequently asked question (FAQ) fact sheet is a useful tool to educate parents, teachers, school staff, and other community members about the specifics of the SLV clinic, as well as influenza in general. FAQ fact sheets can be included with other information being disseminated about the SLV clinic. These FAQ can also be added to health department, department of education, and school websites. Frequently asked questions about influenza and the influenza vaccine can be found on CDC’s influenza website. A list of possible FAQ about the specifics of the SLV are listed below, but are not meant to be inclusive. FAQs will differ by SLV program.
- Why are school children being offered influenza vaccine at the school?
- When will the vaccine be given?
- Can our entire family get the vaccine at the school?
- What do I have to do to make sure my child gets the vaccine?
- What if my child is absent when the vaccine is given?
- Who will give the vaccine to my child?