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SEATTLE, Wash. - (Oct. 2, 2007) - The Laurelhurst Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, in partnership with Group Health Foundation, Katterman’s Pharmacy, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and Public Health - Seattle & King County have organized an influenza immunization and education effort this year.

“Influenza struck our school hard last year and over half of the second graders were out sick in February,” said Gaylene Pattinson, Laurelhurst PTA co-president. “We want to help inform parents about the critical importance of vaccination and assuage their concerns. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our local health care providers participating in this effort.  We hope that we will provide a model for other schools that wish to provide influenza vaccination to protect their community.”

The All School Night event Oct. 9 at Laurelhurst Elementary, 4530 46th Ave NE. will include an information session led by pediatricians from Virginia Mason Sand Point Pediatrics and Public Health - Seattle & King County. All School Night begins at 6 p.m.; the session on influenza begins at 7 p.m.

Additionally, influenza vaccination clinics will be held on November 8 and 9 for children, family members, teachers and staff at Laurelhurst Elementary. Group Health Cooperative donated 400 influenza vaccinations for families in need of financial assistance and Group Health Foundation will support the cost of flu-mist for the same families. Medical insurance can be billed. The cost is $30 for anyone without insurance. Volunteers with Group Health, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, and Virginia Mason will administer the vaccinations to children with parent permission, as well as to family members and school staff.

At the Oct. 9 All School Event, Kristin Nyweide, MD, a pediatrician at Virginia Mason Sand Point Pediatrics, will talk about the benefits of vaccination and the risks incurred when kids get the flu. Dr. Nyweide will also discuss the benefits of FluMist over traditional vaccine and who should or should not get FluMist. Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Public Health - Seattle & King County, will talk about the benefits of flu vaccine for the community. Both doctors will be available for questions and answers at 7:30 p.m.

Parents or school nurses who wish to develop similar vaccination clinics in their schools may contact Eliot Brenowitz, Chair of the Laurelhurst PTA Health Advisory Committee, for advice. His email address is

Gaylene Pattinson, Laurelhurst Elementary School PTA
(206) 524-7267
(206) 409-9093 cell

Alisha Mark, Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509
(425) 417-9499 cell

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