City district vaccinates against flu

BY DAWN MARKS Modified: November 18, 2008 at 5:09 am •  Published: November 18, 2008
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Almost all of the 2,300 doses of flu vaccines the Oklahoma City School District purchased to give to employees this year are gone.

Debbie Johnson, administrator of health services, said she has only about 60 doses left. District officials decided to offer free flu shots to employees this year because of the high number of absences last year.

"There were days when literally 50 percent of the staff was out sick,” Johnson said.

All employees were eligible for the free shots. Integris donated materials which kept the cost of the project down, she said

Johnson hopes to make it an annual program and said it should help the district financially because schools will need fewer substitutes.

The district has had only two cases of influenza this year, and both of them were children, Johnson said.

"Teachers are very dedicated so they come back before they feel better and they’re sick longer because they don’t allow their bodies to recoup,” she said.


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THE NUMBERS

→ABSENCES: 11,000 certified staff between November 2007 and March 2008

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT: 4,600

DOSES ORDERED: 2,300

COST: $27,600

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