PORTLAND, Maine (Reuters) – A U.S. bird trainer said he cannot teach his birds flu vaccinations to children because they do not have proper education and do not understand the risks.
U.S.-based Nat Geo Wild said on Thursday it is working with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to educate people about bird flu and what it is, and that it is not a disease.
The Maine Department of Children and Families has been contacted about Nat Geo’s statements, spokeswoman Laura DeCoster said.
She did not elaborate on the nature of the conversation.
The bird flu is known as H5N1 and has killed thousands of birds in the U.s. and has become a major concern in the Northeast.
The CDC estimates there are about 10 million people who are currently infected and more than 1.5 million have died.
It is not clear what impact the H5-N1 bird flu could have on children.
However, the CDC says children and their families are particularly at risk, as the flu vaccine is made by a company called Mylan and it has been tested for safety and efficacy.
DeCoster declined to provide details about the conversations with DHHS, but said the DHHS is reviewing its protocols with respect to children.
The CDC said in February that it had received reports that Nat Geo was working with DHHL to teach children about flu and to teach them how to take the flu shot.
DHHL said the company is currently not using the vaccine in the state.
The DHHS said it has a contract with Nat Geo to vaccinate students at four of its schools.
Nat Geo said on Wednesday it would use its vaccine at a school in the town of Tewksbury in Maine’s Cumberland county.
In a statement, Nat Geo declined to say how many people it was vaccinating.