KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Knox County Health Department is offering flu shots at some Knox County public schools, private schools and child care centers. This year only the flu shot will be offered instead of the nasal spray after new data shows the nasal spray is not very effective at preventing the flu.
“Evidence shows vaccinating children against the flu not only protects them; it also helps protect the entire community as children are known to be the major transmitter of flu to others,” said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. “Whether parents take part in this program or not, we urge them to have their children vaccinated against the flu, a disease that still kills thousands of Americans every year. The flu shot will soon be available at our three locations, and it’s already widely available elsewhere in the community – at medical providers, pharmacies and Free Flu Shot Saturday on Oct. 1.”
For years the Knox County Health Department has relied mainly on FluMist for students. This year they say you won’t find FluMist anywhere.
“You can’t get it at your doctor’s office, at the pharmacy. It’s not available anywhere. It’s not just that we’re not going to use it. It’s just not available,” said Dr. Buchanan.
Dr. Buchanan said there are a lot of theories why the FluMist may not be effective, but right now no one knows for sure.
In the meantime they are urging people to trust the flu shot and remember to take precautions heading into flu season.
“Get a flu vaccine or flu shot. It is protective. It works. It’s safe. It is a really good way to protect yourself and your family and community in addition to staying home when you’re sick and washing your hands,” she said.
Knox County Health Department said they made decisions about the schedule for school based on an online survey sent to more than 4,000 parents. They said 70 percent of parents indicated schools were the most convenient location to have their child vaccinated and when asked about days and times outside of school hours, parents indicated they preferred evening and Saturday clinics.
Since most elementary school principals declined to have clinics during school hours, Knox County Health Department said they will hold after-hour clinics at three locations and Staurday clinics at Gibbs and South-Doyle High School in October.
“I applaud the health department for working with our principals to accommodate their concerns,” said Knox County Schools Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas. “These are shots, and small children often want their parents when they get a shot. By middle school, that’s all changed.”
Knox County Health Department said no child will be vaccinated without a completed, signed and returned consent form. Parents or guardians may complete the consent form online at knoxcounty.org/health/schoolflu, where they may also download the consent form for printing and view the schedule of the vaccination clinics.
In-school Influenza Vaccination Schedule
- Annoor Academy, 9/27, 8:45 AM
- Apostolic Kiddie Academy, 10/6, 7:20 AM
- Austin-East High School, 11/1, 11:15 AM
- Bearden High School, 10/20, 11:15 AM
- Bearden Middle School, 10/3, 8:35 AM
- Career Magnet Academy, 10/28, 1:30 PM
- Carter High School, 10/20, 8:30 AM
- Carter Middle School, 10/19, 8:45 AM
- Cedar Bluff Middle School, 10/19, 8:45 AM
- Central High School, 10/24, 2:00 PM
- Child Creations, 10/19, 7:00 AM
- Concord Christian Preschool, 10/19, 7:30 AM
- Cozy Kids, 10/4, 9:30 AM
- Dogwood Elementary School, 10/4, 8:30 AM
- Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy, 10/27, 12:00 PM
- Farragut High School, 10/25, 8:45 AM
- Farragut Middle School, 10/28, 8:45 AM
- First Baptist Academy, 10/24, 8:30 AM
- First Lutheran School, 10/4, 8:45 AM
- Fulton High School, 10/26, 12:00 PM
- Gibbs High School, 10/27, 10:30 AM
- Gresham Middle School, 10/20, 8:15 AM
- Halls High School, 11/2, 8:45 AM
- Halls Middle School, 10/24, 8:45 AM
- Hardin Valley Academy, 11/1, 10:00 AM
- Holston Middle School, 10/20, 8:45 AM
- Karns High School, 10/26, 11:30 AM
- Karns Middle School, 10/21, 8:45 AM
- Knoxville Christian School, 10/4, 8:30 AM
- L&N STEM Academy, 9/26, 11:00 AM
- Morning Star Child Development Center, 10/6, 9:30 AM
- Nanny’s Child Care, 10/3, 7:15 AM
- Northwest Middle School, 10/18, 8:45 AM
- Powell High School, 10/27, 8:45 AM
- Powell Middle School, 10/21, 8:45 AM
- Pride and Joy Children’s Academy, 10/4, 8:30 AM
- South Knoxville Elementary School, 10/5, 1:30 PM
- South-Doyle High School, 11/2, 1:15 PM
- South-Doyle Middle School, 10/18, 8:45 AM
- St. John Neumann Catholic School, 10/24, 8:30 AM
- St. Joseph School, 10/6, 8:30 AM
- Sterchi Elementary School, 10/18, 8:30 AM
- Vine Middle School, 10/17, 8:45 AM
- West High School, 10/26, 10:00 AM
- West Hills Baptist Preschool & Kindergarten, 10/3, 12:30 PM
- West Valley Middle School, 10/25, 8:45 AM
- Whittle Springs Middle School, 10/18, 8:45 AM
After-hour and Saturday Clinic Schedule
No appointment is needed for at after-hours and Saturday clinics. Vaccinations are available for all community members at these clinics.
- Gibbs High School, 10/29, 9 AM – 12 PM
- KCHD Main Location, 140 Dameron Ave., 10/20, 3 – 6:30 PM
- KCHD Teague Clinic, 405 Dante Rd., 10/4, 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM
- KCHD West Clinic, 1028 Old Cedar Bluff Rd., 10/25, 8 AM – 6:30 PM
- South-Doyle High School, 10/22, 11 AM – 2 PM