By Cassidy McCarns
During one of worst flu seasons in recent memory, the School Based Health Center at Branford High School is trying to make it more convenient for BHS students to get the flu vaccine shot.
The vaccine is available for anyone who signs up with the SBHC. Students can come during the school day to receive the shot so they won’t be forced to leave school.
Nationwide the flu has reached epidemic levels in many states, according to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “This year’s flu season got off to an early start, ramping up in late December, almost a month earlier than usual…The flu strains circulating the United States this season also appear to be causing more severe illness,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden told USA Today.
Due to the flu, there was a higher than normal student absentee rate at Branford High School in late December and early January, according to school attendance officer Cheryl Alling. Taking into account the vulnerability of high school students the School Based Health Center at BHS is joining other health officials in urging students to receive the shot.
Yale New Haven Hospital will bill insurance companies for some services, but there is no cost or co-pays billed to the families and parents of students.
The SBHC is easy to join and extremely beneficial. It’s very important for teenagers to learn to be independent when dealing with their own health.“One of the goals of The School Based Health Clinic is to help people learn how to take care of themselves, so when you leave here and go to college or a job you know what to do” said nurse Carrie Federici.
Receiving the flu shot is not only an important choice for your own personal health but the health of your family and friends, health officials said.