LITTLE ROCK ó Seasonal flu clinics will be offered at public schools across the state starting Oct. 8 and continuing for several months, state health officials said Friday.

Seasonal flu vaccines are not required for children to attend school but are recommended. Consent forms will be sent home with children and must be signed and returned for children to receive the vaccine, the state Health Department said in a release.

If a family has health insurance, the cost of the vaccination will be billed to the insurance company. If a family does not have insurance, the shot will be provided at no charge.

Both the nasal mist form and the injectable form of the flu vaccine will be available at the clinics. The injectable form of vaccine will be given to children who are unable to take the mist form.

Children will not be given the mist form if they are are less than 2 years old, have asthma or have an underlying health condition that prevents them from taking it.

A schedule of the school flu clinics is available on the Health Departmentís website.