Update - Dec. 10, 2009
Second dose for elementary age children 9 and younger rescheduled to Dec. 15, 2009
2nd dose clinic for school-age children:
We will be holding our H1N1 2nd dose clinic on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 from 3:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Snow Date: Friday, December 18, if we have a snow day on the 15th.
This will be for all students age 9 years and under who participated in our October 30th H1N1 clinic or the November 13th make up clinic.
1st dose clinic for 6 mo - 5 year old children:
Many of you have asked where you can obtain H1N1 vaccine for your preschool aged children. We have just been notified that Child Care Connections, Maine CDC, VNA Home Health & Hospice and HomeHealth Visiting Nurses are providing H1N1 vaccination clinics for preschool children age 6 months through 5 years of age, including those that are not involved in the child care community in Cumberland County.
VNA Home Health and Hospice will be providing these clinics and plans to be at each location at 8AM. They will need support from local volunteers, so any help you can provide would be appreciated. (See Martha O'Connor's contact information below). Attached are the necessary forms and the current list of clinic dates and venues. As the list is updated, I will forward it to you.
Vaccination Clinics for children ages 6 months-five years
* These clinics are for 6mos-5year olds, first dose of H1N1 vaccine.
* Children who have already received their first dose of H1N1 vaccine
may not receive the second dose until the Maine CDC allows the nurses to
administer the second dose.
* It is recommended that children who have already had a flu-like
illness this fall should still be vaccinated.
* These clinics will be for the first dose of H1N1 vaccine only; no
seasonal flu vaccine will be available.
* Nurses will be bringing the type of vaccine (injectable or
intranasal) that has been shipped to their facility, and will not know
ahead of time what type of vaccine they will have.
* Nursing agencies will not know what vaccine (intranasal or
injectable) they will be bringing until the afternoon before each
clinic, but based on child's age and health history will administer the
Parents who are concerned that they will not have the vaccine appropriate
for their child's health consideration, can call Martha O'Connor
the afternoon before the clinic in their area to determine if the appropriate vaccine will be
* Parents are asked to bring the 2 consent forms (completed) that are
attached so that they will be prepared on the day of the clinic. The
consent forms act as a "ticket" to the clinic.
Clinic Contact Information:
Supervisor of Development and Community Relations
VNA Home Health and Hospice
50 Foden Rd.
South Portland, ME 04106
Forms and information:
For Pond Cove students
All documents are in pdf format. Requires Adobe
Update - Nov. 13, 2009
Schools report increase in flu-like illnesses consistent with H1N1 virus
Focus continues on prevention of flu in students, staff and families
Download letter in pdf format
November 13, 2009
Dear Cape Elizabeth Parents/Guardians:
This letter is to inform you that our community is experiencing an increase in influenza-like illness consistent with novel influenza virus (H1N1). Although we have only two identified H1N1 cases, we are very aware that a variety of flu and other symptoms are keeping some students out for periods of time. We would like to inform you of current recommendations for decreasing the spread of influenza.
Our focus is on prevention of influenza among school students, staff and families. We encourage all families and staff to take these steps to stay healthy.
- Stay home if you are ill.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, or into a tissue. Throw this tissue away.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, but especially after coughing and sneezing. Alcohol-based hand gels can also be used.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth can spread germs.
- Avoid contact with ill persons.
- Get vaccinated with both seasonal influenza vaccine and H1N1 influenza vaccine.
This school year has offered us some real challenges as we deal with the issues of new H1N1 strain, coupled with other issues ranging from mononucleosis, strep, pneumonia, and seasonal colds. Working closely with nurses across the state, as well as the CDC, Cape Elizabeth has been very active in the program to provide vaccinations and mist treatment. As of today, we will have provided preventative measure to over 80% of our students, truly a record for a single school district.
As we currently work directly with Maine CDC to ensure that all students in Cape Elizabeth public schools are receiving the vaccination or mist, the pre-school and private school settings are being scheduled through the CDC and Cumberland County Public Health District. Unfortunately, we continue to wait for the supplies necessary to manage our staff and local health care personnel including EMS workers.
Please be aware of steps we can take to identify early ill students and staff:
- A person who develops a fever of 100 degrees or above with either cough or sore throat, should remain at home.
- A person with these symptoms should remain at home until he/she is fever-free for a full 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
- A student or staff person may remain in school unless he/she becomes ill with a fever.
The school nurses review the absence information on a daily basis. When you call the school to report a student being out, please do leave a message about whether the student has a fever and/or congestion, cough or sore throat, or that the student is out for other reasons. Providing the fever temperature, if one is present, will also be helpful. This information will help our nurses keep accurate records and avoid several hours of telephone calls each day. The daily absence account for both students and adults in the Cape Elizabeth Schools is reported daily to my office.
Our school nurses, Paula Harris at Pond Cove, Cindy Tardif at Cape Elizabeth Middle School, and Tatiana Green from Cape Elizabeth High School, along with Barbara Cummings, have dedicated many, many hours to manage the needs of our students. A very special thank you also goes to Dr. Jeff Saffer, Jeff Shedd, Kim Sturgeon, Tom Eismeier, Gary Lanoie, Janet Hoskin and Andrea Fuller, who with the nurses, have met with me every Friday morning at 7:00 am since early September to ensure we are ready for each step along the way. I have also had the advantage of working weekly with the Cumberland County Public Health District to review and manage the work on H1N1 in this county and across the state.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact the school, your healthcare provider, or the Maine CDC at www.mainepublichealth.gov or 1-800-821-5821. Resources on influenza for parents are also available at: www.cdc.gov/h1n1/parents/.
Alan H. Hawkins
Update - Nov. 6, 2009
With flu season upon us, our school district has decided to extend another opportunity for H1N1flu vaccinations to registered students in our system. We will be holding an H1N1flu clinic on Friday, November 13, 2009 at the Cape Elizabeth Middle School Nurse's Office. This clinic will take place in the afternoon and final details are being arranged now. We cannot accept walk-ins the day of the clinic.
If you would like your child to receive a flu vaccine at school, please completely fill out the consent form and return it to the Cape Elizabeth Middle School Nurse's Office by THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12. Please complete a new consent form even if your child turned in paperwork for the last clinic and was unable to attend.
All documents are in pdf format. Requires Adobe
Update - Oct. 30, 2009
Keep checking the flu clinic calendar at www.maineflu.gov for non-school clinics that are open for high risk populations.
It is important for people to educate themselves accurately about the risks of the various formulations. There is much misinformation circulating that is impacting people's decisions about both the live vaccine and about vaccine containing thimerosal. Two good sources for information include:
If someone in your household is sick with ILI (influenza like illness): It is important to understand that you should contact your healthcare provider to ask about antiviral medicines (Tamiflu or Relenza) if the sick person and/or a household member meets one or more of these criteria:
- Younger than 2 years-old
- Older than 64 years-old
- Has an underlying medical condition
Update - Oct. 22, 2009
We've just received confirmation that CAPE ELIZABETH'S H1N1 vaccine shipment is on its way. The clinic will go on as scheduled for FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30.
The vaccine takes about 10 days to take effect and the H1N1 influenza is rapidly spreading across the country, including the State of Maine. It is in the best interest of children to be vaccinated against H1N1 and we hope that we can serve as many of our students as possible, to lessen the impact of H1N1 on our community.
H1N1 Flu Clinic Information
Oct. 21, 2009
We are preparing for our first H1N1 vaccination clinic for students on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Town Center Fire Station Community Room. This is subject to change depending upon availability of the vaccine.
The clinic will assure that our children will receive the vaccine as early and as efficiently as possible, which will reduce the impact the flu will have on school and on our children’s learning.
This is clinic is not for the seasonal flu vaccine.
Unlike the seasonal flu, children and young adults have a higher risk for getting very sick with the H1N1 flu.
Getting the H1N1 flu vaccine is the best way to avoid getting the flu.
Vaccination consent forms are going out to parents today. If you would like your child to receive a flu vaccine at school, please completely fill out the consent form and return it to school by MONDAY, OCTOBER 26. Included in the packet will be:
All documents are in pdf format. Requires Adobe
Please realize that H1N1 vaccine supplies are being sent primarily to schools at this time, so if you plan to have your child vaccinated it will be most easily obtained at the school clinic. It is hard to predict supply and shipment, but we are very hopeful that our vaccine supplies will arrive in time for this clinic.
If you would like to learn more about influenza, please go to www.maineflu.gov or www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.
There is also a toll free information line 1-888-257-0990 staffed by professionals available to answer your questions Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Please watch this Web site for updates as more information becomes available.