The Miller County Health Unit will be providing flu shots in area schools in the coming weeks.
The statewide program aims to immunize as many school children as possible.
"The program is important because it allows us to come into the schools and vaccinate children and faculty of the schools. It is a convenience for the parent because they don't have to take off work to take their child to get a flu shot," said Julie Huntley, Miller County Health Unit administrator.
Immunizing children, who are often exposed to the flu at school, can help protect more vulnerable family members from catching the illness.
"If a child lives with someone who is a higher risk for developing complications from the flu, they can help protect them by having the child vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the flu virus at home, in public or even at school. It takes about two weeks for that child to develop antibodies, so the sooner they get vaccinated, the better," Huntley said.
Flu causes children to miss school and their parents to miss work.
"Getting an annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu," said Dr. Nate Smith, state health officer and ADH director.
The flu shot is not required for children to attend school, but it is highly recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend everyone aged 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu vaccine every year.
Consent forms will be sent home from the school but parents have the option of completing the forms at adhschoolfluprereg.arkansas.gov. There will be no out-of-pocket expense for children receiving the vaccine but if they have insurance, it will be charged.
Flu shots will be given:
For assistance with the online registration process, call 1-866-671-7266 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.