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Placer County students get the H1N1 vaccination

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Gold Country News Media
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Soon, children won't be frowned upon when things get stuck up their noses. That's what will be happening when students are offered the H1N1 vaccination, mostly in the form of a nasal spray. Placer County Health and Human Services and the Placer County Office of Education are working together to make the most out of the H1N1 vaccine doses the county has received so far. Planned throughout November are school-based clinics this month aimed at providing the vaccine, for free, to as many students as possible. “Placer County is trying to vaccinate school-age children first, because that’s where the H1N1 seems to have the most negative effect,” Ken Lake, Placer County Office of Education project manager, prevention services, said Tuesday. Dr. Mark Starr, Placer County director of community health and clinics, said the county’s health department has received some 20,000 doses of the vaccine, with the majority meant for students at this point. Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, Placer County superintendent of schools, said the goal is to inoculate at least half of Placer County’s 65,000-plus students. “We knew that we needed to create an opportunity to keep as many children healthy as possible,” she said. “It’s an option, a very convenient option.” Garbolino-Mojica said county health officials are working with district administrators to plan vaccination clinics that will best serve each district’s population. “They’re trying to figure out how they can quickly move children to the locations,” she said. It is up to the districts and schools to notify families about scheduled clinics, and vaccinations are administered only to students who return signed permission forms. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com.