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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Flu Mist Shortage Means More SPS Students Getting Flu Shots Instead

Blake Patterson

Springfield Public School students who normally opt for the flu mist over the flu shot will likely be disappointed this year.  KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

The district is currently out of the flu mist due to a delay at the site where it's manufactured.

"We were told that the producer, and there's only one company that produces the flu mist vaccine, that it was slow in producing it," said Jean Grabeel, manager of health services for Springfield Public Schools.

Grabeel says they were told it could be mid to late December before the district could get any more flu mist, so they decided to go ahead with their flu clinics.  Students at approximately 20 schools were able to get the flu mist.  But she says there are plenty of flu injections available.

One hundred ninety injections were administered during a clinic this week at Cherokee Middle School.

"Students were very receptive and got over their fear of getting a shot, and it really went well," she said.

Letters were sent to parents information them of the flu mist shortage and asking them to sign permission slips to allow their children to have injections instead.

"So, we'll see what happens for those elementary schools that we still haven't covered yet," Grabeel said.

She says there' s a chance they could get more flu mist in before clinics at the remaining 26 schools are over.

According to Grabeel, the flu vaccine keeps children in school.  She says they've studied those who receive the flu vaccine and those that don't, and the ones that get it have fewer medical absences.

She says the district administers an average of 6000 vaccines each year to students in the SPS District and 1600 to employees.

Parents who would like their child to receive a flu vaccine during upcoming clinics at area schools should contact their school nurse.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.