LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - While the worst might be over for the H1N1 virus, school officials in Jeff Davis Parish are not taking any chances.
The school district kicked off the first day of their voluntary H1N1 vaccinations at James Ward Elementary School on Monday, November 30th.
"We offered the vaccinations free of charge for all the children who brought in signed consent forms," says Suzanne Doucet, principal of James Ward Elementary School.
Nurses from the school and the Office of Public Health administered the vaccinations to more than 200 students.
"We had 6 nurses in the immunization room giving the immunizations, so it went extremely rapidly," says Steve Thompson, an R. N. from Jeff Davis Parish Schools.
While some students took the shot, others received the nasal mist instead.
"The flu mist made a huge difference with the children's distress as you could imagine," says Thompson.
"It didn't really hurt at all," says Ethan Jardell, a student from James Ward Elementary School who received the nasal mist.
Jardell says he is now relieved he has one less thing to worry about.
"I'm glad I got the vaccine," says Jardell. "So now I won't get the flu."
While the worst may be over for now, a necessary 2nd dose is on its way to elementary schools in Jeff Davis Parish.
"All children 9 years and younger will receive a 2nd vaccination at least 28 days from the first initial dose," says Thompson.
The district will go through the same process of parental consent for the second dose of the vaccine.
"The office of public health will be coming back to our school sometime in the future at least 28 days from today," says Thompson.
School officials at James Ward Elementary School say they are pleased to offer this opportunity to the students.
"A lot of times for various reasons parents are unable to get the students to the health unit or to the doctor because they are so busy right now," says Principal Doucet. "This is a way to provide the service to our community and families and make that a little easier for them."
Jeff Davis Parish Schools will be administering the H1N1 vaccinations at different school locations for the remainder of the week into next week.
Below is a list of the different times and locations the vaccinations will be administered to the different schools in Jeff Davis Parish.