Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Flu shots are now being offered at nearly every school in Olmsted County.

A collaborative effort involving Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Public Health, Dodge County Public Health, and area private and public schools begins Monday.

This is the 11th year of the flu vaccination program. The shots will also be offered at the Kasson/Mantorville schools in Dodge County.

The shots will be offered through Oct. 11th.

School-located vaccines are fast, easy, and convenient for parents and children to keep this preventable disease out of the classroom. All vaccines in the schools are administered by Mayo Clinic and/or Olmsted Medical Center. The vaccine cost is billed directly to the child’s insurance and will be recorded in the child’s electronic medical record, just like it would be at the clinic. This year both the shot and nasal spray form of the vaccine should be available. For those children getting the shot, nursing staff will offer non-medication pain-reducing topical coolant sprays and other distractions proven to reduce pain.

“We are striving to make the influenza vaccine available to all school children. Vaccination of school-aged children is the most effective way to prevent outbreaks of influenza within the school setting and the community,” says Dr. Robert M. Jacobson, Medical Director for the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic.

Research has found that, although a healthy adult has around a seven percent chance of getting influenza any given season, school kids have around a twenty percent chance each year.

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