CPS elementary school hosts COVID, flu shot clinic following uptick in absences before Thanksgiving

Leah Hope Image
Thursday, December 1, 2022
CPS elementary school hosts COVID, flu shot clinic following uptick in absences before Thanksgiving
EMBED <>More Videos

Ravenswood Elementary School hosted a vaccine clinic for CPS students offering flu shots and COVID-19 boosters.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19 were among the offerings at Ravenswood Elementary Thursday.

The video featured is from a previous report.

Cathy Vega got all three of her kids flu shots, and two also got COVID boosters.

"It's really nice that CPS and Ravenswood is offering this so that busy parents don't have to run around to different places," she said.

RELATED: Tamiflu shortage: Some flu medicine, cold remedies running low amid high influenza activity

This is the fourth time the school has hosted a vaccination clinic at the school. They had 77 individuals get vaccinated at a clinic in November.

Ravenswood Elementary Principal Nicholas Guerrero said he noticed higher than normal absences just before Thanksgiving break.

"We definitely saw quite a few more kiddos getting sick but thankfully because we had that session in November, that mitigated what could have been," Guerrero said.

The flu outbreak has led to a sharp increase in absenteeism at schools across the country.

"Within the city of Chicago we have definitely seen an increase in influenza activity," said Ken Papineau, CPS' director of student health and wellness.

Papineau said what's in the community impacts school communities and he urges prevention by getting flu shots.

"It's one of the best steps you can take to not only protect yourself but others in your family as well from influenza," he said.

ALSO SEE: Flu season continues to intensify in the US, and holiday gatherings could make it worse

Parent Abbie Stringer helped coordinate Thursday's clinic at Ravenswood after she said her family was sick most of the Thanksgiving holiday, likely with flu.

"It just kind of shows just how rough this winter might be and how important it is to do what we can to stay healthy," she said.

With 33 school-based health centers, CPS officials and parents who spoke with ABC7 hope all caregivers will consider taking advantage of flu and COVID vaccinations so kids don't miss any more time in the classroom.