Shoo the Flu Kicks Off Second Year of Flu Protection for Oakland Students

All Pre-K through Fifth Grade Students in Participating Schools Can
Receive a Free Flu Vaccine

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oakland pre-K and elementary school students can once again get free flu
vaccines this fall at school through Shoo
the Flu
, a program to reduce flu in the community. Now in its second
year, Shoo the Flu is a partnership of the Alameda County Public Health
Department (ACPHD), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and
the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), funded by the Page Family

“In 2014, we were able to provide over 8,000 vaccinations at over 100
Oakland area schools. We’re building on that success by expanding our
program to include more schools and hopefully vaccinate more students,”
said Erica Pan, MD, MPH, Director of the Division of Communicable
Disease Control and Prevention at Alameda County Public Health
Department. “Students can spread the flu quickly. School-based flu
vaccine programs are one of the best ways to protect the community
against the flu.”

Shoo the Flu is expanding in 2015 because of the success of the 2014
program. Many Oakland Head Start schools as well as new private and
charter schools and three schools in Piedmont will be included in the
program. The overall goal of the program is to continue to expand
geographically, within the boundaries of Oakland, in order to increase
the number of students receiving protection against the flu. With the
addition of these new schools, there will be a total of 140 schools
sites participating, up from 110 sites in 2014. Similar to last year,
students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade in participating Oakland
schools can receive the flu vaccine during school hours. Receiving the
flu vaccine is voluntary, and is free for students, with or without
insurance. Most children will receive flu protection through a nasal
spray instead of an injection. Children with certain health conditions
like asthma may need to get an injection.

“It’s important for parents and guardians to know that vaccines
administered at Flu Vaccine Days are the same as what students would
receive from their regular health care provider,” said Cheryl Burden,
program manager of OUSD Nursing Services. “We’ve found that the nasal
spray is effective for vaccinations given at schools, where needles can
cause some anxiety. There was tremendous success during last year’s
program and we’re looking forward to providing the same level of care
during the 2015 program.”

New this year, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Region, has signed
on as an official partner of Shoo the Flu. As a leader in the health
care industry, Kaiser is endorsing this program as a convenient and
effective way to improve flu vaccination rates in children and decrease
flu burden in the community.

Besides protecting students and reducing flu in the community,
school-based flu vaccine programs reduce absenteeism in students and
teachers. For students to get flu protection, parents/guardians must
complete and return a consent form, available from schools or at
In addition to OUSD schools, Flu Vaccine Days will be held at private
schools, charter schools and schools of the Catholic Archdiocese of
Oakland. Staff at participating schools may also receive their flu
vaccine at school, at no cost.

Shoo the Flu is once again partnering with the University
of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health
to study whether
school-based flu vaccine programs reduce the spread of flu in the
community. UC Berkeley researchers will conduct a pilot of the
evaluation, named the Bay Area Flu Study, this school year. They will
ask parents/guardians and community members to complete surveys on flu
and flu-like illness in their households. Parent/guardian recruitment
will take place through a small subset of OUSD schools. Parent/guardian
participation in the surveys is not a requirement for students to
receive a flu vaccine through Shoo the Flu. The Bay Area Flu Study will
provide evidence-based findings for creating sustainable school-based
vaccine programs.

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About the Flu

The flu, also called influenza, is a contagious disease that spreads by
coughing, sneezing and close contact. Flu symptoms include fever/chills,
sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough and headache. The flu is
preventable. The flu vaccine is the most effective way to reduce the
chances that people will get the flu and spread it to others. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu
vaccine for most people over six months old. People can also protect
themselves from the flu by having healthy habits: covering their cough
with their shoulder or sleeve (not their hands), washing hands
frequently and staying home if they do get sick.

About Shoo the Flu

Shoo the Flu is a program to prevent the flu by bringing flu vaccine to
Oakland pre-K and elementary school students. By protecting students
against the flu, the benefits extend to the larger community. It is a
collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Department,
California Department of Public Health and the Oakland Unified School
District, funded by the Page Family Foundation. Shoo the Flu is endorsed
by California Chapter 1, American Academy of Pediatrics,
Kaiser-Permanente and Sutter Health.

About the Bay Area Flu Study

The Bay Area Flu Study is an evaluation conducted by the University of
California, Berkeley, School of Public Health to study the impact of
Shoo the Flu. The study will assess whether school-based flu vaccination
can increase vaccine rates among schoolchildren and whether increased
flu vaccine rates can prevent the spread of flu within the community.
This evaluation will help build a model for sustainable school-based flu
vaccine programs. More information can be found at

About Oakland Unified School District

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is the State of California’s
most improved urban school district over the past eight years, as
measured by Academic Performance Index (API), California’s primary
metric for measuring student achievement. During this time, the
District’s 46,000 students have benefited from 128 points of API growth
and a focus on the whole child embodied by OUSD’s “Community Schools,
Thriving Students” vision of a full-service community school district.
In this model, every school site offers high levels of learning along
with physical health, mental health, dental and eye care; nutrition,
physical education, recreation, before-school and afterschool programs;
housing, employment, parenting and language acquisition courses and a
range of other programs. Social and human services are not seen as extra
or add-ons in these schools. Instead, collaboration in service of
children and families is how they consistently behave. To learn more
about “Community Schools, Thriving Students”, please visit:

About Alameda County Public Health Department

Covering 13 cities, including Alameda, Piedmont, Oakland, Hayward,
Fremont, Dublin and Livermore, the Alameda County Public Health
Department provides programs and services to protect the health and
safety of County residents. ACPHD includes assessments of the health
status of residents, disease prevention and control, community
mobilization and outreach, policy development, education, and assurance
of access to quality medical and health care services. With more than
600 employees, ACPHD is made of public health doctors, epidemiologists,
dentists, medical social workers, therapists, dietitians, health
educators, program managers and pre-hospital care coordinators in Health
and Medical Services divisions. A key component of the ACPHD mission is
seeking community involvement, including partnerships with grassroots
and corporate entities, with individuals and groups.

About UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Founded in 1943, the University of California, Berkeley, School of
Public Health jointly administers master of science (M.S.), master of
arts (M.A.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees; it also awards a
doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) degree, and the master of public
health (M.P.H.) degree in areas of concentration including Maternal &
Child Health, Public Health Nutrition, Infectious Diseases &
Vaccinology, Environmental Health Sciences among others. Building on a
campus tradition of pre-eminent interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary
scholarship, education and public engagement that challenges
conventional thinking, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health develops
diverse leaders equipped to help solve the health challenges of the 21st
century and beyond.


Racepoint Global for Shoo the Flu
Kristina Nelson, 415-694-6707