Dr. Robert Crowe of The Pediatric Clinic in Leesville addressed the Vernon Parish School Board during their meeting Thursday morning in regards to school-based vaccination clinics.

Dr. Robert Crowe of The Pediatric Clinic in Leesville addressed the Vernon Parish School Board during their meeting Thursday morning in regards to school-based vaccination clinics.

“I’m not here to sell you anything, but to offer a proposal to improve things,” Crowe said.

Across the United States, there have been 141 pediatric deaths due to the influenza virus, including two in the state of Louisiana, according to statistics provided by Crowe. Additionally, there have been over 18,000 hospital stays due to the illness.

According to Crowe, only about 20 percent of school-age children are vaccinated for the flu virus. He thinks, through a school-based vaccination initiative, improving the rate of vaccination will cut down not only the number of others who get sick, but also cut the rate of absenteeism.

“You can have the flu and be contagious for a couple of days before symptoms start to show,” Crowe said. “That time could allow for the flu to spread to others and more students would miss school.”

Through his proposed program, his staff would come to the schools and vaccinate those students, with parental consent, at no charge to the school board or the schools.

“We would provide the personnel to do the vaccinations,” Crowe said. “My staff would be there to administer the vaccines.”

The vaccination takes little time to deliver, as it would be sprayed into each nostril. The risk of contracting the flu from the vaccination is zero.

In other news, Vernon Travis of the Salary and Personnel Committee informed the panel that the district has met the required reduction in force. Travis also advised the board about a couple of revisions in the 2014-15 budget, which were unanimously approved.

Additionally, a motion was made to advertise for a curriculum supervision, which met a little resistance from the board as two members voted against advertising for the position.

The board also unanimously accepted a bid for bread from Flower’s Bakery of Baton Rouge, where they will pay $1.70 per package of hamburger and hot dog buns, along with $1.78 per loaf of bread.

Bids from Oak Farms and Mid State Marketing were opened for milk and juice as well, but those were taken under advisement.

The next meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9.