The Meramec Valley R-III School District has entered into an agreement with the Franklin County Health Department that will make it easier for students to get needed vaccinations.

The school board approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the district and the health department Jan. 17 to allow the shots to take place.

“The health department will come to the middle school and high school to give immunizations to students who need shots to be compliant for eighth and 12th grades,” said Barb Heger, district health coordinator.

“The shots will be provided for only those students whose parents sign them up for it,” she noted.

School nurses will review all records to see who needs vaccines before next school year.

“The nurses will contact those parents and let them know what vaccines their student needs,” Heger said. “We would tell them about the option of getting them at school when we contact them.”

Parents may then choose to have their student get the shots at school or take them to their regular physician.

“It’s all up to parents,” Heger said. “We are just wanting to offer them this convenient option.”

Heger called the program a win-win for the district and the health department, which can charge the insurance company for the shots so they make money.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Way asked school board members to approve the MOU saying the vaccine program will be a great service for the district.

“All we have to provide is the space and hand-washing facilities,” Way said. “They provide the staff, supplies, paperwork and vaccines.”

The health department also collects fees and insurance information as needed and documents the vaccines into the Missouri Show Me Vax System.

The health department will set up at a location in school buildings and the students who have been signed up for it will be called out of class, get the shots, be observed for a short time, and then return to class.

The health department takes care of billing the student’s insurance. If the student is uninsured, there will be a minimal cash fee a student can pay.

“My hope is that they (the health department) will hold two clinics in the spring, one at the middle school and one at the high school,” Heger said. “They will do it again in the fall if needed.”