District holds vaccine clinic as hundreds of students were behind

Osceola vaccination clinic
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
Students in the Osceola School District had an in-house vaccination clinic on Wednesday after administrators noticed hundreds of students not up-to-date on vaccines.
Superintendent Michael Cox told Region 8 News that the problem is to blame for the struggle of keeping school nurses.

The past two years we have had a hard time keeping nurses, Cox said. Its like we will hire one and they will work awhile and then they leave. We have two new nurses now and they are great.

Between the nurses and administrators, they planned a meeting to discuss where students stood on state-required vaccinations.

We identified children who needed to be up-to-date on their shot, Veronica Thomas, a school nurse said.

Thomas said there are between 300 and 500 students district wide who were not up to date on their shots.
The Arkansas Department of Health set up vaccine stations in each school in the district.

Its difficult to keep up with everything and get your kids where they need to go and get things done in a timely manner, Thomas said. We did this so it could be a convenience to everyone involved.

Many factors played into orchestrating the in-house vaccine clinic, but the states recent mumps outbreak played a larger roll.

That was a concern, Thomas said. It can happen anywhere. Our little community is not immune to being hit by an outbreak and we just didn't want that. We did not want that disruption to our school district and the community.

Thomas confirmed there are students in the district who were not up-to-date on the MMR shot, which is a vaccine that prevents mumps. 

Cox echoed on Thomas comment. He said students must be up-to-date on all state-required vaccines before they come back to school after Christmas break, which is Jan. 3.

He said there will be no exceptions.

Thomas said Tuesdays clinic was a big success. Many students came in with signed parental permission slips to receive the needed shots.  

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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