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Everyone needs the influenza vaccine each year, especially children. Kids easily spread influenza in school settings and then carry the virus home to their families. Research has found that, although a healthy adult has around a seven percent chance of getting influenza any given season, school kids have around a twenty percent chance each year. That's why Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Public Health, Dodge County Public Health, and area private and public schools have once again teamed up for the 10th year to offer influenza vaccinations at nearly all schools throughout Olmsted County and the Kasson/Mantorville schools in Dodge County between September 17 and October 16, 2018. "This is truly a group of organizations collaborating with all their robust resources and making the health of the community a priority," says Leah Espinda-Brandt, Nurse Manager for Disease Prevention and Control at Olmsted County Public Health.School-located vaccines are fast, easy, and convenient for both parents and children to keep this preventable disease out of the classroom. All vaccines in the schools are administered by Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, or Dodge County (Kasson/Mantorville only) nurses. The vaccine will be billed directly to the child's insurance and will be recorded in the child's electronic medical record. This year both the shot and nasal spray form of the vaccine will be available. For those children getting the shot, nursing staff will offer non-medication pain-reducing topical coolant sprays and other distractions proven to reduce pain. "We are striving to make the influenza vaccine available to all school children. Vaccination of school-aged children is the most effective way to prevent outbreaks of influenza within the school setting and the community," says Dr. Robert M. Jacobson, Medical Director for the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic.Sign up is required. On-line sign up begins August 8th and parents can sign their kids up until September 12th. On-line sign up is preferred; however, paper forms are available at the children's schools. To find out which schools are participating and how to sign up your children, please visit our website.