BANGOR, Maine — Schoolchildren in kindergarten through grade 12 from the Bangor area will have an opportunity today to be vaccinated at no cost against both the seasonal influenza and the H1N1 flu. Public health experts say school-age children are a high-priority group for both vaccines and local officials strongly recommend that parents take advantage of the clinic, which is for students only and which will run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Bangor Civic Center.
Patty Hamilton, director of public health nursing for the city of Bangor’s Department of Health and Community Services, said Tuesday she has been working with her staff, area schools and other groups since Friday afternoon to plan the large-scale clinic. The centrally located event, and a second clinic planned for Wednesday, Nov. 4, will take the place of individual vaccine clinics that had been planned at several area schools but which were postponed by a delay in the availability of both seasonal and H1N1 vaccine doses.
Hamilton said she would have at least 4,000 doses each of H1N1 and seasonal vaccine in both injectable and nasal spray forms.
Public school students from Bangor, Brewer, Dedham, Orrington, SAD 22, SAD 63, RSU 14 and RSU 26 may participate in the clinics, as well as students from John Bapst Memorial High School and All Saints Catholic School in Bangor.
SAD 22 comprises Hampden, Newburgh and Winterport; SAD 63 comprises Clifton, Eddington and Holden; RSU 14 comprises Hermon, Carmel and Levant; and RSU 26 comprises Orono, Veazie and Glenburn.
Some schools, but not all, will provide bus transportation to the clinics during the school day. Children and teens under 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian to receive a vaccine. Information and permission slips were sent home with students from participating schools Monday.
BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.