A health care provider giving flu shots during clinics in the Sanford school district failed to check the signatures on student permission forms, resulting in some students receiving vaccines without parental consent, the superintendent said.

Superintendent Matt Nelson apologized Thursday for the breakdown that led to three students in the district receiving shots without parental consent.

“Apparently the provider administering the shot from Northern Light Home Care and Hospice did not notice that the forms had not been signed by a parent/guardian and in one situation the form had been completed and signed but crossed out,” Nelson said in a letter to the community posted on the district’s website.

“I apologize on behalf of the Sanford School Department. This situation has caused us to reassess and re-examine our flu shot process going forward to make sure it is even clearer and more consistent, but most importantly to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Jacqueline Welsh, director of philanthropy and community relations for Northern Light, did not respond to messages left on her office and cellphones Friday.

For the past several years, Sanford has contracted with Northern Light to provide free flu shot clinics for students with signed permission forms. The clinics started Oct. 20 and have been held at various schools over the last two weeks with one clinic still scheduled for remote learning students on Wednesday.

Three students in the district received flu shots without parental permission after they submitted permission forms that either hadn’t been signed or had been signed but the signature was crossed out, Nelson said Wednesday. He would not say what schools the students attended.

Welsh would not answer questions on Wednesday about how the students received flu shots without parental consent. She said Northern Light has contracted with 20 school districts and 11 independent schools this year to run school vaccine clinics and no problems have been reported at any other schools.

In an email Friday, Nelson said he could not say much beyond what he wrote in the letter to the community. “We continue to investigate our protocols and procedures, including on-going communication with Northern Light Home Care and Hospice, to make sure that students do not receive a flu shot without a signed permission form ever again,” he said.

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