Concern among parents with school-aged children over the spread of H1N1 is heightening, but over the course of this week some fears have been alleviated as parents have gotten their children vaccinated at the Mollen Immunization Clinics held at various Kyrene School District locations.
Unfortunately there is still a shortage in supply of H1N1 vaccinations, which has prohibited Mollen from scheduling clinics for the general public. Nov. 20 marks the first day an H1N1 immunization clinic will take place in a high school in Arizona, as there is more concern for the spread of H1N1 in elementary and middle schools.
“Due to the shortage of supply we have only been able to hold clinics where children are at the highest risk, but we hope to start holding clinics for the general public after Thanksgiving,” said Candice Stender, a scheduler for the Mollen Immunization Clinics.
Parents can only enroll their children in clinics that are held at the school their child attends, so high school students will have to wait to be vaccinated for the time being.
According to Linda Littell, director of communications for the Tempe Union High School District, TUHSD is currently working with Mollen to get on its list of immunization clinics, although she does not have a definite date to report to parents.
While most parents are probably aware of preventative steps that can be taken to keep their children healthy, such as washing hands frequently and sneezing into tissues, they should also consider the emotional affect H1N1 may be having on their children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered the following tips to aid parents in easing their children’s worries and help them feel safe:
• Ask your children what they have heard about H1N1 flu. Answer questions openly and honestly, at a level they can understand. Be concrete and do not avoid difficult questions.
• Allow children to express their feelings and concerns. Let them know it is OK to be afraid or mad. Ask questions so you can help them identify and cope with their feelings.
• Children always need to feel safe and loved. When they are uncertain about situations and afraid they may need even more affection and attention.
• Limit exposure to media and adult conversations about H1N1 flu. If your children are watching TV try to watch with them or make sure you are available to answer questions about what they have heard.
• As appropriate, encourage healthy behaviors: eating well, sleeping well, playing outside.
• Use their questions as an opportunity to let them know what they can do to avoid getting the H1N1 flu.
Name of School Clinic Dates Clinic Hours Location Cerritos Nov. 18 3 to 6 p.m. Community Room Esperanza Nov. 17 3 to 6 p.m. Room 40-Art Room Lagos Nov. 19 3 to 6 p.m. Health Office Lomas Nov. 19 3 to 6 p.m. Health Office Milenio Nov. 20 3 to 6 p.m. Health Office Monte Vista Nov. 23 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Room 30 Sierra Nov. 17 3 to 6 p.m. Media Center Akimel A-al Nov. 23 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. Staff Lounge Altadena Nov. 18 3 to 6 p.m. Community Room Centennial Nov. 18 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. Staff Lounge