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Region 7 Public Health Office

School Flu Vaccines Frequently Asked Questions


Information about school flu vaccines:

  1. Why is my child being offered the flu vaccine at school?
    • Flu outbreaks might be prevented, or the severity of illness lessened, if a greater proportion of students are immunized.
    • Studies show that schoolchildren who receive a flu vaccine have fewer illnesses, fewer absences from school, and lower rates of illness in their families during flu season compared with children who did not receive a flu vaccine.
    • Children are one of the most common sources of flu transmission. Getting a flu vaccine for your child may prevent the spread of the flu to others.
  2. Who will give the vaccine to my child?
    Trained and experienced nurses from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)
  3. When will the school flu vaccines begin this year?
    Flu vaccination clinics will be scheduled beginning in mid- to late September.
  4. Is there a cost for the vaccine?
    If your child is covered by Medicaid or does not have any health insurance, he is eligible to receive the flu vaccine at no cost to you. If your child has private health insurance, VaxCare will bill your insurance. If your insurance company does not pay, you will receive a bill from VaxCare ($25.00 for the shot or $30.00 for the nasal mist).
  5. Is my child required to get a flu vaccine?
    No. Participation in the school flu vaccines program is voluntary and requires permission from the child’s parent or guardian. However, it is recommended that all children aged 6 months through 18 years should be vaccinated yearly against flu.
  6. I want my child to get a flu vaccine. What do I need to do?
    You must read the Vaccine Information Statements. Complete, sign, date and return the consent form that you receive from your child’s school. You will receive the form in August during the first week of school. You can also download the form from www.scdhec.gov/region7.
  7. My child does not like needles or shots. Is there another way to get the flu vaccine?
    Yes. The nasal spray flu vaccine will also be offered.
  8. How do I know which flu vaccine – shot or nasal mist - my child will receive?
    Most children will get the nasal mist. The only children who will get a shot are those who do not medically qualify for the mist or whose parents/guardians specifically request the shot.
  9. What if my child is absent when the flu vaccine is offered?
    There will not be a makeup date. If your child misses the flu vaccine clinic, call your healthcare provider to schedule a flu vaccine. You can also make an appointment at a DHEC public health clinic by calling
    (843) 953-0090.
  10. Can parents and younger or older siblings get the flu vaccine from the school?
    No, the school flu vaccines are for students only. Parents, guardians, and older or younger siblings may receive flu vaccines from their healthcare provider. You can also make an appointment at a DHEC public health clinic by calling (843) 953-0090.
  11. Who/what is VaxCare?
    VaxCare is a private, preventive healthcare services provider, specializing in immunization services. DHEC is piloting a joint venture project that will unite the expertise of both organizations (VaxCare and DHEC public health departments) to provide flu vaccines more efficiently. The noticeable change that people may see is that VaxCare will handle payments for the flu vaccines and billing either insurance companies or individuals.
  12. Will my child need two flu vaccines?
    Children less than 9 years old who have not received at least 2 doses flu vaccine since July 2010 will need a second dose about 4 weeks after the first dose.  DHEC and VaxCare will have a second clinic at your child’s school for this purpose.