Schools around Austin have already begun sending kids home with flu vaccine consent forms for parents to fill out, but it's the wording that has started an uproar
The flu is pretty common, so much so that healthcare providers stick to their guns about vaccinations.
“We really recommend flu shots. They are the best protection we have to protect ourselves and the people around us from getting the flu,” said Coleen Christian with the City of Austin Health Department.
School districts like Austin ISD are issuing vaccine consent forms to parents. This week but it's the wording that has some dumbfounded.
“Yes I want to help protect my family and community from the flu by allowing my child to receive a flu vaccine. No I don't wish to protect my child by allowing my child to participate.” That’s the wording on the consent form.
Some took to social media to voice the frustration with the wording some saying it shames them into getting the vaccine.
“If people are pro vaccination they probably don't have a problem with this. If they're anti- vaccination they probably feel offended,” said Amanda Darby, parent.
Darby says it doesn't bother her much, since she will vaccinate her children anyway.
“I don't feel guilt tripped, but I don't mind vaccinating my kids,” said Darby.
“The wording hasn't messed me up, but I'm definitely in favor of children receiving some flu shots,” said Charlotte Rotthoff, another parent.
AISD released this statement:
The seasonal flu shot vaccine consent form that was sent to parents this week was a collaboration with E3 alliance and healthy schools. We understand that the language was concerning to some of our families and respect parents' decisions in whether to fill out and return the form in this optional program.
For some parents, next time, a simple yes or no will suffice.
E3 Alliance and Healthy Schools Statement:
We at Healthy Schools in partnership with local districts and E3 alliance for the past 3 years have been providing immunization services to students at no cost to AISD or families.
Every year we try to communicate through our literature (parent letter and consent) how the program works and the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccine.
It was brought to our attention that one sentence at the bottom of our consent form offended some parents who received the form. Obviously, it was never our intention to offend anyone and we respect and take their concerns very seriously.
As we do every year we will review all of our literature and take into account all feedback both positive and negative from district partner, parents, and people in the community and use it as an opportunity to communicate even more effectively next year.