Students receive free nasal flu vaccinations

Southwest Louisiana students receive free nasal flu vaccinations
(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

It may be flu season, but students in Southwest Louisiana are more protected thanks to a needle-free vaccination.

It's called FluMist and all it takes is two squirts in the nose.

The Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps is taking advantage of the needle-free spray in local schools.

"I think it's so important, because it protects so many of our kids, especially with the flu season this year," said Angela Jouett, Director of Calcasieu Medical Reserves Corps.

This is the 4th year for the FluMist program.

Last year 6,000 students were vaccinated for free throughout Calcasieu, Cameron, and Allen Parish. This past year, Jeff Davis joined the campaign.

"We're extremely excited that we were able to vaccinate 7,300 kids throughout the region," said Director of Human Services for Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Tarek Polite.

FluMist also vaccinates 300 students in 20 minutes.

A crew of trained medical volunteers went to different schools from October to December in 2013.

Permission slips went home and the FluMist was only administered with the parents consent.

"A lot of times if parents take kids to get the flu shot they're going to have to miss a day of school, go to the doctor's office and do it, but  here we bring it to them," said Jouett.

Officials said throughout the years, the nasal vaccine has been popular throughout the parishes and even helped more kids stay in school.

"At one time we weren't sure if we could offer it to all the parishes and that superintendent offered to actually buy the mist, because they were so behind the program," said Jouett. "So yes, they have seen less absentees and that's what it's all about."

And it's a campaign that's helping more than just those vaccinated.

"When you immunize one person you're actually protecting seven more, so if you immunize 78% of a school then that's much more protection for that whole program," said Jouett.

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