RICHMOND, VA. (WWBT) - Health officials will begin administering the vaccine in the city's elementary schools on Monday, eventually moving on to the middle and high schools. Health officials and city leaders say the vaccine is safe and even got shots in front of our cameras to prove it.
Richmond's youngest population will be among the first to receive the swine flu vaccine. And to set the example, the city's mayor got a flu shot.
"I'm done? That didn't hurt at all," said Mayor Dwight Jones.
Richmond public schools will begin the H1-N1 vaccination campaign in the elementary schools.
"We'll try to serve as many students as we possibly can. But we need to parental permission slips back in order to do so," said Richmond Scholl Superintendent Yvonne Brandon.
Those permission slips are going home this week and must be signed in order for a child to receive the free vaccination. There are 15,000 elementary age children in Richmond schools and all of them will have to get the vaccine twice.
"This will help parents to protect their children from this disease it will help protect our schools from flu outbreaks," said Dr. Donald Stern, Richmond City Health Department.
So far, there have been no major flu outbreaks in the city's public schools, but city leaders say the worst of the flu season is not upon us yet.
"Statistics show that the wide spread virus is also present in our city. As mayor of the city of Richmond I encourage all residents to play an active role in fighting H1-N1," said Jones.
The best advice from health officials tonight is to wash your hands often, cover your cough and do not go to work or school if you feel ill.