What is Shoo the Flu?
Shoo the Flu is a program that brings free flu vaccines to Oakland area elementary students. Students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade (and in some cases up to 8th grade) at participating schools can get the flu vaccine for free in school, during school hours. Shoo the Flu is a partnership of the Alameda County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health and the Oakland Unified School District, with funding from the Page Family Foundation.
Why is the flu vaccine being given in schools?
School-based flu vaccination is a safe, easy and convenient way to increase flu vaccination in kids, which helps reduce flu in the whole community. Flu vaccinations take place during school hours so parents and guardians can avoid making an extra trip to their student’s regular healthcare provider and possibly missing work. It’s also safe. Nurses or supervised nursing students give students the vaccine, and it’s the same one students would receive from their regular healthcare providers.
How can I find out if Shoo the Flu is at my school?
That’s easy! Check out the list of participating schools. If you don’t see your school on the list, your student may still get vaccinated for free at clinics held by the Alameda County Department of Public Health. For more information, call the Alameda County Public Health Department at (510) 267-3230 or visit www.acphd.org/clinics.aspx.    
Why should students get vaccinated?
The flu can be most dangerous for kids, especially younger kids, and vaccination is the best protection we have against it. That’s why everyone over 6 months old should get vaccinated. Plus, vaccination can reduce absenteeism and help students keep their studies on track. And since kids are super-spreaders of the flu, preventing flu in children is the best way to reduce the flu in the whole community.
Is there any cost to have my student participate in Flu Vaccine Days?
No. It’s free! All students will receive the vaccine free of charge from Shoo the Flu — with or without insurance.
Who will be giving the vaccines?
Trained nurses and supervised nursing students will give vaccines at each school.
Why is the nasal spray vaccine (FluMist) not available this year?

In June 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed new information about how well the flu vaccine worked the last several seasons. The nasal spray vaccine did not work as well as the flu shot in protecting against the flu. The ACIP recommended it not be used during the 2016-2017 influenza season. Get more information from the CDC.

How do students receive the vaccine?
Nurses determine what is best for each student based on the answers provided to the medical questions on the student’s consent form and the status of the program’s vaccine supply.
What if my student refuses the vaccine?
We want all students to have a positive vaccination experience. Sometimes students can be nervous about getting the flu vaccine at school. Friendly Shoo the Flu nurses ease their minds and can distract nervous students with questions about their school day, what games they like play, and what foods they like to eat, for example. Clinic staff will offer a sticker, a hand to hold or make silly faces. However students that are upset or too nervous to sit and talk won’t be vaccinated. We will send your student home with a Parent Notification Form letting you know s/he refused to be vaccinated so you know to seek the flu vaccine elsewhere, such as from your regular healthcare provider or at one of these community clinics.
Why will some children need two vaccinations?
Some students under age 9 may need a second dose for full protection against the flu. Please contact your student’s regular healthcare provider to see if your student needs a second dose.
Can I be there when my student gets vaccinated in school?
Yes, but one of the major benefits of school-based flu vaccines is that parents and guardians don’t need to take time off of work or make an extra trip to get their child vaccinated. However, many schools need volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact your school for more information.
Are there side effects to the flu vaccine?
For some people, side effects from the flu shot include soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches.
Isn’t it possible to get the flu from the flu vaccine?
No. It is not possible to get the flu from the virus in the flu vaccine. However, some people may get flu-like symptoms as a side effect. These possible side effects are shorter and less severe than the flu.
How do I make sure my student gets vaccinated?
Complete, sign and have your student return the consent form to school.
Does my student need to get vaccinated against the flu in order to attend school?
No. The flu vaccine is not one of the required vaccinations to attend school.
The consent form asks for health insurance information. Is health insurance required?
No. Health insurance is not required and health insurance companies will not be billed. We are gathering information to help us better understand the communities we serve.
Will Shoo the Flu share my information with health insurance companies?
All personal information collected on your student’s consent form will remain confidential and protected according to the Alameda County Public Health DepartmentPrivacy Practices Notice. We ask for health insurance information to help us develop a sustainable program, but there is no cost to students or their families. We may seek direct donations or reimbursement for our program from health insurance companies based on the number of students covered by different health plans.
My student got vaccinated last year. Will he/she need to get vaccinated again?
The influenza virus strains in the vaccine are updated every year and protection from the flu vaccine can lessen over time. Getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect against the flu.
What is the Shoo the Flu Community Advisory Board (CAB)?
It’s a diverse group of people who represent the Oakland community. They advise Shoo the Flu about the implementation and sustainability of the school-based vaccination program. By sharing feedback from the community and providing recommendations, they help make sure all community members are heard and that the program continues to help people for years to come. Interested in joining? Please email info@shootheflu.org.
Besides the flu vaccine, how else can I protect my student and family against the flu?
Healthy habits are key — for starters, that means washing hands well or using hand sanitizer often. It also means getting plenty of rest and exercise and having a healthy diet. You can also ask your family to cover their coughs with their elbows instead of hands and to stay home if they do get sick.
How do I know if anyone in my family has the flu?
Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. However, the only way to truly know if a person has the flu is to have a lab test.
What is Shoo the Flu?
Shoo the Flu is a program that brings free flu vaccines to Oakland area elementary students. Students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade (and in some cases up to 8th grade) at participating schools can get the flu vaccine for free in school, during school hours. Staff at participating schools can also get a free flu vaccine.
Why are the Flu Vaccine Days happening in schools?
Flu vaccines provided at school are convenient for parents and guardians and can increase the number of students who get vaccinated against the flu. Shoo the Flu can reduce absenteeism, help students keep their studies on track, and also keep teachers and school staff healthy.
Can teachers and school staff get a free flu vaccine, too?
Yes! All school staff at participating schools can receive the flu vaccine for free with or without insurance. To see if your school is participating, check the complete list here. If you don’t see your school on the list, visit Alameda County Public Health Department website to find other flu vaccination centers in your area.
Why should I consider getting vaccinated?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone older than 6 months get the flu vaccine every year. It’s the best protection we have against the flu and the best way to reduce the flu in the whole community. The flu vaccine provided in schools is the same one available from your regular healthcare provider.
Can someone who is pregnant get the flu vaccine?
Yes. The flu vaccine is safe for a pregnant woman and her unborn child. In fact, flu vaccines are strongly recommended for pregnant women since pregnancy can make women more likely to get seriously ill from the flu.
As a member of school staff, what will be my role be leading up to Flu Vaccine Days?
Your support is a key piece of the equation as we work toward a successful school-based flu vaccine program. As partners, we can help achieve our shared goals of healthy students, better attendance and fewer flu cases in the greater community. For more details on specific ways you can help, please visit our School Staff page or contact your school’s main office.
What can I expect during school flu vaccinations?
Exact details vary between schools, but the goal everywhere is to get students vaccinated safely, efficiently and without any unnecessary disruption to the school day. Flu vaccination areas will be set up in a large area such as a multi-purpose room, gym or empty classroom. Shoo the Flu staff and volunteers help bring students to the vaccination area by classroom. Teachers are asked to help confirm the identity of students prior to leaving the classroom. The whole process takes only about 30 minutes per classroom.
Why is the nasal spray vaccine (FluMist) not available this year?

In June 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed new information about how well the flu vaccine worked the last several seasons. The nasal spray vaccine did not work as well as the flu shot in protecting against the flu. The ACIP recommended it not be used during the 2016-2017 influenza season. Get more information from the CDC.

What is the Shoo the Flu Community Advisory Board (CAB)?
It’s a diverse group of people who represent the Oakland community. They advise the Shoo the Flu team about the implementation and sustainability of the school-based vaccination program. By sharing feedback and providing recommendations, they help make sure all community members are heard and that the program continues to help people for years to come. Interested in joining? Please email info@shootheflu.org.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Your school’s Shoo the Flu coordinator can help answer questions specific to your school. Simply contact the front office to find out whom yours is. Otherwise, visit our School Staff page for more information.
What is Shoo the Flu?
Shoo the Flu is a program that brings free flu vaccine to Oakland area elementary students. Students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade (and in some cases up to 8th grade) at participating schools can get the flu vaccine for free in school, during school hours.
Where can I find out about getting the flu vaccine?
Call the Alameda County Public Health Department at (510) 267-3230 or visit its website to find other vaccination centers in your community.
Why is the nasal spray vaccine (FluMist) not available this year?

In June 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed new information about how well the flu vaccine worked the last several seasons. The nasal spray vaccine did not work as well as the flu shot in protecting against the flu. The ACIP recommended it not be used during the 2016-2017 influenza season. Get more information from the CDC.

How do I know if anyone in my family has the flu?
Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. However, the only way to truly know if a person has the flu is to have a lab test.
Besides the flu vaccine, how else can I protect myself and my family against the flu?
Healthy habits are key — for starters, that means washing hands well or using hand sanitizer often. It also means getting plenty of rest and exercise and having a healthy diet. You can also help stay healthy by telling your family to cover their coughs with their elbows instead of their hands and by keeping them home if they do get sick.
Can someone who is pregnant get the flu vaccine?
Yes. The flu vaccine is safe for a pregnant woman and her unborn child. In fact, flu vaccines are strongly recommended for pregnant women since pregnancy can make women more likely to get seriously ill from the flu.