Health Department to offer flu vaccines

Friday, September 30, 2011 | 6:41 p.m. CDT; updated 8:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 1, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department will begin offering flu vaccinations at their Worley Street clinic on Monday.

The vaccine will be free for children 6 months to 18 years old and $25 for adults 19 or older. FluMist, a spray vaccine administered through the nose, will be available at $30 for healthy people ages 2 to 49.  Pregnant women will not be eligible.

Both vaccines protect against the three most common influenza viruses.

The David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, a Columbia-based philanthropic organization, presented a grant to the health department of more than $122,000. The grant has made it possible to offer the vaccine to Columbia residents for free, according to a release from the health department.

Beginning in mid-October, public health nurses will also be able to conduct flu clinics at participating Boone County elementary schools. Exact dates are yet to be announced, and questions about participating schools should be directed to the school nurse.

More than 1,300 Missouri residents died from flu or pneumonia in 2009, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The department particularly encourages vaccinations in people over 65, adults with chronic medical conditions and those in contact with newborns during flu season, which steadily increases from October to February.

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services clinic is located at 1005 W. Worley St. and will offer the vaccine Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is needed.

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