GAINESVILLE – The Alachua County Commission has ensured that the FluMist program will continue to run for the next 15 years. The Commission voted unanimously to approve funding of $1.5 million from CHOICES program funds for FluMist. The CHOICES program was created to provide access to health care services for working and uninsured residents.

Each year the CHOICES program will allocate $100,000 for FluMist. The funds will be used to cover the cost of administering the program.

CHOICES had previously provided funding of $80,000 per year for the past three years to FluMist.

The most expensive part of the FluMist program is currently the vaccine, Paul Myers administrator of the Alachua County Health Department said.

The Florida Department of Health provides the vaccines. Myers said this year the program is on target to vaccinate 14,000 students.

Students from kindergarten to eighth grade are the target population for administration of the vaccine. There is no fee for these students to receive the vaccine, which is generally administered through a nasal spray.

Myers said according to models, vaccinating around 70 percent of students from kindergarten through the eighth grade can protect an entire community from influenza.

“Of all the outbreaks we had investigated in schools, none had been vaccinated so far,” Myers said. “This whole program is based upon community immunity.”

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