Our comment re: “Sarasota schools to expand flu vaccine push”

[Comment: Regarding Sarasota County’s recent push to vaccinate area school children for influenza, we encourage you to read an essay written in 2009 by Barbara Loe Fisher of National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). While Fisher’s piece appeared in the context of the so-called swine flu “emergency” of 2009 — the severity of which was subsequently shown to have been greatly exaggerated — Fisher’s cautionary warnings are still relevant today. We believe it is neither wise nor necessary for the county to provide influenza vaccinations in the school setting.

Fisher’s essay is here:

Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given to Children in Schools

The link to the Sarasota Herald Tribune article describing this flu vaccination program follows below.]

Herald-Tribune / Thursday, January 22, 2015


More than 2,500 area children received flu vaccines in Sarasota County schools last year under a pilot program, public health officials reported Thursday.

Some county schools had nearly 30 percent of all students vaccinated on campus in December, the result of a partnership between the county’s health department, the school system and Healthy Schools LLC, a Jacksonville company that provides vaccines to children.

Encouraged by the results of the inaugural year of administering the flu vaccine in schools, members of the Sarasota County Immunization Coalition — a group comprising public health administrators and vaccine manufacturers, which met Thursday — hope to expand the program next year.

The vaccinations came slightly in advance of what health officials have termed an “above average” flu season in Southwest Florida to date.

Area doctors and regional hospitals — from Sarasota Memorial to Venice Regional Bayfront Health — say they are seeing new influenza infections daily, in part because this winter’s vaccine has proven less effective at combating the virus than in previous years.



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