February 27, 2023

Teaching flu a lesson

School-based flu vaccination clinics made it safe and convenient for students to receive a no-cost flu shot.

Students in San Bernardino County were offered a flu vaccine on-site, regardless of insurance status.

To help create flu-free communities and reduce school absenteeism, Kaiser Permanente teamed up with school districts in San Bernardino County, California, and local schools with nursing programs to increase access to flu vaccinations at schools located in underserved communities.

Every student at each participating school was offered a free flu vaccination on-site, regardless of insurance status. Flu vaccination clinics held at 20 schools in San Bernardino County made it more convenient for parents who otherwise would need to take time off work to get their child vaccinated.

“School-based vaccination clinics promote community immunity by helping to prevent influenza among children where outbreaks often start,” said Jamie Lopez, project manager and vaccine coordinator for Kaiser Permanente in San Bernardino County. “This helps close health inequity gaps in our communities, as well as decrease influenza-related illness that causes students to miss school.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed school days, and reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalization and death in children.

Internal risk mapping, a method used to identify below-average flu vaccination rates in Kaiser Permanente membership, enabled Kaiser Permanente to target specific geographic regions in need of vaccination.

Protecting your children

This flu season, more than 550 students received flu vaccinations through the Teach Flu a Lesson Program. Nursing students from American Career College; Azusa Pacific University; California State University, San Bernardino; and California State University, Fullerton assisted Kaiser Permanente with this program. They administered the flu vaccinations and gained community health experience.

Know the facts

There are a lot of myths out there, from how effective the flu vaccine is to how serious the flu virus can be. Get to know the facts about the seasonal flu and flu vaccine, and keep yourself and your family healthy.

Seasonal flu vaccinations, and COVID-19 boosters and vaccinations, are available at no cost for Kaiser Permanente members.