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Press Release

Press Release # j63-09
Saturday, October 3, 2009

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Health: Jessica Scaperotti/Erin Brady:
Schools: Marge Feinberg,

Health Department and Department of Education Launch Week-Long Vaccination Effort to Test Vaccine Distribution in Schools across the City

City will offer seasonal influenza vaccine to children in six elementary schools and pilot strategy for broader H1N1 immunization effort

  October 3, 2009 – In preparation for this fall’s school-based H1N1 vaccination effort, the Health Department and the Department of Education will hold a week-long vaccination program in six New ork City schools next week. From Monday to Friday, trained nurses will administer the seasonal influenza vaccine to the approximately 700 students whose parents have completed consent forms.

Besides immunizing children against seasonal flu, the program will verify the most efficient ways to immunize large numbers of children in school-based settings – one of the goals of the city-wide H1N1 vaccination effort Mayor Bloomberg announced last month. 

The following schools will take part in the pilot program:

  • P.S. 046, Edgar Allan Poe in the Bronx
  • P.S. 35, The Clove Valley School in Staten Island
  • P.S. 040, George Washington Carver in Brooklyn
  • P.S. 136, Roy Wilkins in Queens
  • The Children’s Workshop School in Manhattan
  • Saint Mark School in Brooklyn

As vaccine for H1N1 influenza becomes available this fall, the City will distribute it to health care providers throughout the city to offer their patients, and to school-aged students. Within the next few weeks, parents of elementary school students will receive consent forms to sign if they want their children to receive the H1N1 vaccine at school. The actual vaccination effort will start in late October or early November and continue for approximately eight weeks.  Both public and non-public schools will be included.  In addition, the City will hold weekend vaccine clinics for middle- and high-school students in all five boroughs during November and December. Vaccines will not cost parents any money, and no child will be vaccinated without the consent of a parent or guardian

“The steps needed to control influenza in our schools are simple,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein wrote in a recent letter to parents. “By getting your children vaccinated, keeping them home when they’re sick, and teaching them the importance of washing hands and covering coughs, you can help keep our schools open and safe this year.”

How parents can prepare their children for the fall influenza season

  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. All children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years should get vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Some children under age 9 may need 2 doses, 4 weeks apart, for full protection.
  • Children should also get the H1N1 vaccine as it becomes available this fall. The seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against the H1N1 virus. Children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years need a separate vaccine for H1N1.
  • Each of the vaccines comes in two forms – one administered by injection and one contained in a nasal spray. Ask your doctor what is right for your child.
  • Read important posters, flyers, brochures, bulletins and fact sheets about influenza and how to manage it. For information, call 311 or visit, New York City’s new one-sto flu-information center.