IW schools consider free vaccination program

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018

By Elizabeth Pattman

Staff writer

The Isle of Wight County school division is looking into adopting the CareDox program, which would allow students to receive free vaccinations during twice-yearly clinics. 

Mark Mabey, the executive director of administration and operations for Isle of Wight County schools, presented the idea to School Board members at the May 10 meeting and said he hopes to implement the program by next fall. 

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CareDox is a nationwide company whose mission is to improve children’s health by providing access to necessary health care at the school level. Through partnerships with Healthy Schools LLC and insurance companies, CareDox is able to provide student vaccinations at no cost to families or the division, Mabey said. All school-aged children are eligible for the vaccinations, which include flu shots and all age-appropriate vaccinations, according to Mabey.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Mabey suggested that the program be implemented primarily at the elementary and middle school levels, where the division requires students to have certain vaccinations before entering school. The flu shot offerings could however be included for the high school, he said.

If CareDox were to be implemented in the schools, the division would select clinic dates and Healthy Schools LLC would bring in registered nurses to administer the shots in each of the schools. According to CareDox, all employees entering schools have completed background screenings, including a screening by the FBI, and have passed drug tests.

Mabey is suggesting the vaccine clinics be offered twice a year — once in the fall and once in the spring.

If implemented, CareDox information will be sent home to all parents, along with consent forms, prior to the clinics. Clinics would be run in two-hour blocks, with students being out of class for an average of 15 minutes, and school staff will assist to make sure only students with signed consent forms are receiving the vaccinations, Mabey said.

FERPA, HIPAA and state privacy regulations apply to CareDox services, to ensure student privacy. Mabey also said the electronic medical records system used by CareDox could be integrated with PowerSchool to include student vaccination records alongside their grades for easy tracking.

The School Board took no action on the proposal at the May 10 meeting, but members spoke in approval of the idea. Action on the proposal is likely to come up in future meetings.  {/mprestriction}