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Ingomar will soon become a pilot school for a Mississippi Department of Health program designed to drastically increase the state of Mississippi's vaccinations among adolescents.
The Union County School Board voted to allow the state's Health department to use the facility for such clinics after hearing from representatives of the department Monday night.
Tammy Clark of the Mississippi State Department of Health and Anita Lofton of the Lee County Department of Health came before the board to address the issue.
"The lack of vaccinations among adolescents is becoming a problem," Clark said to the board. "Many parents and children just don't have the education about the need for continued vaccinations for various diseases, even into adulthood. The Center for Disease Control has put forth a goal of 90 percent of adolescents being caught up on vaccinations by mid 2010. One way we've looked at doing this is trying out a vaccination program through the schools and we would like Ingomar to be a pilot school for the program."
Clark said that the goal of the program would be to educate both parents and students and to immunize each student. In the pilot program, they would implement vaccinations among 7th graders.
She went on to say that each clinic would be the full responsibility of the Department of Health and that the county's school nurses, as well as any other medical professionals seeking to help out, would serve as volunteers for the clinic.
"The school district would not be liable," Clark told the board. "The school nurses would be covered under the department of health because they would be serving as volunteers. But we would have a person on hand to help out and also we would have all of the vaccinations as well as a list of policies and procedures to help guide them during the clinics.
Clark said that permission forms would be sent home with students and that only those students whose parents signed their forms would be immunized.
The board asked school nurse Becky Rowan how she felt about the program and she said that it did sound good.
"If it will help our kids and make sure they are healthy, then I think it's a good thing," Rowan said.