10,000 Grand Island Students to Be Offered Free Flu Shots
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Oct. 12, 2020, 10:59 a.m. ·
The Central District Health Department is offering 10,000 free flu vaccines to Grand Island students starting next week as the area tries to get a jump on flu season. The shots will be offered to preschool through 12th grade students who make up about a fifth of Grand Island’s population. Central District Health Director Teresa Anderson says the shots could help the area avoid a so-called “twindemic”, with COVID-19 and the flu virus potentially affecting the community at the same time.
“There’s a bit of urgency to this too because we’re seeing across the state that our COVID numbers are going (up) very quickly again now, so we want to get these shots given by the first week in November because quite actually we’re not sure how long schools will be able to maintain in-classroom sessions,” Anderson said.
The shots will be offered starting next Monday, October 19 through November 6th at 19 Grand Island elementary, middle and high school campuses. Parents will have to register their children for the shots and return consent forms to the schools by this Friday, October 16.
Anderson says the mass flu vaccinations will also provide the Central District Health Department a dress rehearsal of sorts for when COVID-19 vaccinations are available.
“This gives us that opportunity to see how this is going to work, how many shot-givers to do we need? How many recorders do we need? How do we establish those relationships with the schools that allow us to come in and give those shot?” Anderson said.
The COVID-19 test positivity rate has risen to 19% in the area and the Central District Health Department expects the COVID risk dial to enter the more serious orange level this week.