We know Oklahoma school leaders put the safety of students and staff at the forefront of every decision. Even as we battle COVID-19, there is another danger we must heed. For months, healthcare officials have warned the convergence of influenza and COVID-19 cases may place a significant strain on the capacity of our state’s medical professionals, facilities and resources. It is also possible to have both viruses simultaneously. For these reasons and more, there has never been a more important time to get a flu shot.
If possible, we encourage all districts to host a flu vaccine clinic for their students and staff. Encourage participation by making it convenient and free, which is often possible for those with health insurance coverage. The benefits of promoting flu shots are clear: healthier students and staff, fewer absences, and another opportunity to make a valuable contribution as a community partner and employer. Your district’s efforts will also support healthcare workers on the frontline.
We’ve provided tips and resources below to assist you with the organization and promotion of your own flu shot clinic, as well as to help you share information about the availability of the flu vaccine in your community.
Please contact us if there is anything additional we can do to help you spread the word about this important life-saving issue.
Thank you for helping Oklahoma fight the flu — and COVID, too.
OSSBA Communication Services Team
Amber Graham Fitzgerald
Director of Member Engagement
Director of Communications
Template Staff Letter
Template Parent and Staff Phone Script
Hosting a Flu Clinic
*Learn more about hosting a workplace flu vaccine clinic
- Appoint someone to oversee the implementation of the flu clinic. If possible, seek involvement from a school nurse or a member of your health services team.
- Partner with an experienced outside provider of flu vaccination services, such as a local pharmacy, hospital or healthcare organization. Determine whether they will be able to provide the vaccine to students and staff.
- Verify that there will likely be no charge for those with health insurance, and include the information in communication.
- Schedule the flu vaccination clinic at times and locations that will maximize participation. If possible, offer the vaccine at each school campus instead of at one district site.
- Select a room or space large enough to comfortably accommodate the event.
- Encourage online registration, if possible, so individuals can select an appointment time and access all necessary paperwork and release forms.
- Ask participants to adhere to current COVID-related guidance, including social distancing and masking.
- If possible, allow employees to visit the clinic “on the clock” as part of their school day. This may require your district to hire floating substitutes for the day or make other arrangements to cover classes.
- Especially for elementary students, host an after-school clinic so parents can be present with them for the vaccination. If vaccines are administered before, during or after the school day to any student, ensure all paperwork and parental permission forms are in order.
- Consider offering the flu vaccination to employees’ families, if supplies last. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for anyone older than 6 months. Those ages 2 to 49 can receive the nasal spray flu vaccine, if they wish. Learn more about who should and should NOT get a flu vaccine
- Sponsor a friendly competition among buildings and departments, challenging them to have the greatest employee participation in the flu vaccine clinic.
- Promote the flu clinic using posters, phone calls, emails and social media. OSSBA resources can be downloaded from the section above.
- If your district hosts a vaccination clinic, follow all CDC’s guidelines and best practices, which can be found in Resources for Hosting a Vaccination Clinic.
Other Strategies for Promoting the Flu Vaccine
- If you are unable to host a flu clinic, develop a list of businesses and organizations in your community that provide vaccines.
- Visit VaccineFinder to discover options near you. Share the link with others, using emails, texts and social media.
- Use the OSSBA communication resources to promote the importance of getting a flu vaccine.
- Be flexible with staff, if possible. Allow them time to leave campus during the workday to receive their flu shot.