The Mecklenburg County Health Department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will begin vaccinating students against H1N1 starting today (Nov. 16).

Six schools will hold vaccination clinics daily during the school week, and the district-wide program should be completed within three months.

Only students enrolled at the respective schools, and whose parents have signed the consent form, will be given the free vaccine.

“Our schools are working closely with the health department to make sure all of our students receive the vaccine if their parents want them immunized,” said Barb Pellin, assistant superintendent for Pre-K-12 support services.

Consent forms were sent home with all students, Pellin said. Parents also may download the form from the CMS Web site under the H1N1 link, sign the printed copy and return it to the school.

Schools will notify parents as each clinic and grade level is scheduled. Parents are invited to attend the clinics to support to their children.

The H1N1 vaccine comes in two forms: an injection and a nasal spray. Children may receive either, based on parent consent. To ensure full protection from the virus, children under age 10 will get a second dose of the vaccine about a month after they receive the first vaccination.

Anyone interested in volunteering at a school can call Phyllis Croutch in the Office of Volunteers and Partnerships at 980-343-4418.

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