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Schedule for H1N1 Flu Vaccinations Moved Up

Posted October. 31, 2009 08:23,   


Public school students will get vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus a week earlier than scheduled, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry said yesterday.

The ministry also issued a guideline for school closures.

Jang Ki-won, director-general of the ministry’s planning and coordination bureau, said, “We agreed with the Health, Welfare and Family Ministry to move up the vaccination schedule because of the number of infected students.”

Special purpose schools with those belonging to high-risk groups will begin vaccinating students Nov. 11 and regular schools will follow two days later. Vaccinations had originally been set to start around Nov. 18.

For children under age nine, the ministry will decide the number of vaccine shots and when to vaccinate Wednesday, when permission for vaccines for young children is issued.

The ministry also sent a guideline for school closures to city and provincial educational offices nationwide. It urged the use of criteria such as number of students, population density near a school, infection rate, and the pace of the spread.

Schools should also assess each risk factor on a scale of one to five, with five being the most risky. If the combined figure exceeds a certain point, school should suspend classes.

Prior to the guideline’s issuance, educational offices in Incheon, South Chungcheong Province, North Chungcheong Province, North Gyeongsang Province, and Ulsan came up with their own guidelines on school closures.

In Incheon, principals will decide on closure at their discretion if infected students account for 5 to 10 percent of the student body.

In South Chungcheong Province, a class will be suspended if more than 11 percent of the students are infected.

In North Chungcheong Province, principals can close schools when students either infected or suspected of being so account for 10 percent of the student body.

Educational authorities in Gyeonggi Province, Gwangju, Busan and South Jeolla Province will leave school closures at the discretion of principals.

Remaining educational offices will issue their guidelines by today at the latest.