It's being called the largest immunization effort in Jefferson County Schools since the Polio vaccination effort in the 1950's. Monday began the first day of three weeks of vaccinating JCPS students inside schools.
At Fern Creek Elementary School, more than 400 students were vaccinated - that's more than half of the student body. The Metro Health Department hopes to make the vaccine available to nearly 100,000 students by winter break, December 18.
"Once winter break hits, they are gone. They are traveling all over the country, all over the world," says Dr. Adewale Troutman, Director of the Metro Health Department. "Then the chances for them to catch it or for it to spread are significantly higher."
Parents must complete permission slips in order to get their children vaccinated. If Monday's turnout is any indication, the health department will be vaccinating about 50,000 students by winter break.
"This is a very good turnout," says Bonnie Ciarroccki, Health Services Coordinator for JCPS. "We worked out the calculations. If we get 50% we would be wonderfully surprised, I think."
Right now, the Metro Health Department has about 35,000 doses of vaccine available. But they don't expect to run out before the clinics are over.
"If we do 50% and we already have 35,000 in hand and it continues to come in regulalry, I think we're in good shape," says Dr. Troutman.
To find a complete list of the dates and clinics, visit Metro Department of Health and Wellness' website.