The Maine Department of Education, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Immunization Program are pleased to announce the continued support of school-located vaccine clinics (SLVCs) for the 2012-13 influenza season. We encourage your support of this important public health collaboration.
During the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Response, the Maine DOE and CDC worked together and led the nation in achieving very high vaccination rates for influenza in the school setting. The Maine CDC is currently working on a cooperative agreement with federal Centers for Disease Control to explore sustainability of school-located vaccine clinics for influenza in Maine. We are using our knowledge from the past few years to build a foundation, including tools and processes, for Maine CDC and DOE to administer influenza vaccine in school-located clinics.
An additional outcome expected from this work is that we will be better prepared to offer mass immunization services in times of public health emergencies. During this past year, Maine CDC and DOE conducted SLVCs to help control a pertussis outbreak in Penobscot County.
Evidence suggests that schools with greater numbers of students vaccinated for influenza have higher rates of attendance. Lower absenteeism results in a healthier student population that can be more engaged in academics and extracurricular activities.
This season Maine DOE is working closely with Maine CDC to offer assistance to schools for purchasing clinic supplies, and we will be targeting news schools and districts to participate in this effort by offering support from Maine CDC’s Division of Public Health Nursing.
If you would like more detailed information about SLVCs, please speak with your School Nurse. If you would like to learn more about influenza in Maine and in the school setting, see www.maineflu.gov or www.cdc.gov/flu/school/guidance.htm.
Keeping students healthy, in school, and learning is a goal we all share. We support the continued efforts to provide influenza vaccine in Maine schools and are looking for your cooperation in this important initiative.
- Nancy Dube
School Nurse Consultant