After nine Caledonia High School students were taken to the emergency room Nov. 4 for adverse reactions to the vaccine, LCSD Superintendent Mike Halford said Thursday, students who did not receive the first round of injections would not receive the vaccine at school.
“We’re not going to finish the schools. There were too much problems we had on that part. The liability part,” said Halford.
Caledonia Elementary and Middle schools, West Lowndes Elementary and Middle schools and New Hope kindergarten through third-graders did not receive the vaccine before injections — which were administered by Mississippi University for Women nursing students through a partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health — were halted after students complained of symptoms including shortness of breath, hives and fever.
The LCSD had intended to continue with the injections, but Halford said school officials experienced difficulty validating signatures on parental permission slips.
The district was not threatened with legal action following the student reactions.
Surrounding school districts intend to continue facilitating the vaccinations as planned. Columbus, West Point, Starkville and Oktibbeha County school districts will allow the vaccines to be administered on school grounds by MSDH officials or local medical professionals partnering with the agency.
All vaccinations are voluntary and require a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children during the injections.
Columbus schools already have completed their first round of vaccinations. Students 9 years old and younger who require a follow-up booster will receive those injections over the next two weeks.
Students at Franklin Elementary Medical Sciences and Wellness Magnet School received the boosters Thursday, while students at Stokes-Beard Elementary Technology and Communication Magnet School will receive them today. At Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School, the boosters will be administered on Dec. 9; and Fairview Aerospace and Science Magnet School’s boosters will be administered Dec. 14.
Starkville School District partnered with Oktibbeha County Hospital and MSDH Thursday to administer vaccinations to students at Sudduth Elementary (400 of 1,100 students), Overstreet Elementary (115 of 300 students) and Armstrong Middle School (56 of 600 students).
Students at Ward-Stewart Elementary and Henderson Intermediate will receive vaccinations today with Starkville High School to follow Dec.
Students requiring the follow-up injection will receive it in January.
SSD Superintendent Judy Couey said no parents have called the district to voice concerns about the vaccinations.
Steve Montgomery, superintendent of West Point School District, also has heard no complaints or concerns from parents. Still, WPSD will host vaccinations at just two of its eight schools. The remaining vaccinations will be available at the West Point Health Department.
“I offered (MSDH) any school building they wanted,” said Montgomery. They said they wanted to do that at the health department.”
MSDH nurses will be in West Point Dec. 14 to administer the first round of vaccinations to students in grades five-12, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten at the Clay County Health Department from 3-7 p.m.
Nurses from Coggins Family Medical Clinic will administer the vaccines at Church Hill Elementary and Southside Elementary schools.
Oktibbeha County School District will complete vaccinations today after beginning Thursday. MSDH nurses visited the district’s four schools to administer the shots.
East Oktibbeha High School (27 of 230 students), West Oktibbeha High (28 of 140 students) and West Oktibbeha Elementary (48 of 210 students) received vaccinations Thursday. East Oktibbeha Elementary (110 of 340 students) will receive vaccinations today.
Risks from the inactivated H1N1 vaccine are similar to those from the seasonal flu vaccine: soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling at the injection site, fainting, headache, muscle aches, fever or nausea. Life-threatening reactions to vaccines are rare.
As with the seasonal flu vaccine, those with allergies to eggs should not get the H1N1 vaccine.
Symptoms of swine flu also are similar to those of seasonal flu, according to the MSDH -- fever, respiratory symptoms and body aches. H1N1 swine flu has contributed to a number of deaths in Mississippi, principally in those with pre-existing health conditions; 1,272 cases of H1N1 swine flu have been confirmed across the state since May 15. MSDH advises protective hygene to avoid illness.