COLUMBIA — The number of children who received free seasonal flu vaccines from school-based flu clinics in Boone County and Columbia has increased steadily since 2011.
This year from Oct. 1 to Nov. 6, a total of 7,561 children received free flu vaccines from school-based clinics funded by both the MU Children's Hospital and David B. Lichtenstein Foundation.
The number of vaccinated children in schools went up from 4,638 in 2011 to 6,373 in 2012, Andrea Waner, a spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services.
Although fewer donors stepped forward this year to cover the costs for the program than last year, the total amount of funds has stayed about the same, Waner said.
Children's Hospital provided about $70,000 this year for the Health Department to purchase FluMist, and the Lichtenstein Foundation provided $50,000 to support the vaccination efforts including injectable vaccines, staff expenses and materials for vaccination, Waner said.
The foundation began its funding for free flu vaccination for children in Boone County and Columbia in 2011, according to a previous report in the Missourian. The Health Department requests funding from its community partners every year, Waner said.
Along with the 7,561 children vaccinated at flu clinics in 50 schools in Columbia and Boone County, about 1,000 more children received vaccines at both the department's clinic at 1005 W. Worley St. and other outreach sites, Waner said.
All children from 6 months to 18 years old in Boone County and Columbia are eligible for free flu vaccines, she said.
Adults and children can be vaccinated at the clinic at 1005 W. Worley St. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost for adults 19 and older is $25, and a variety of insurance plans are accepted.
The flu season might last until March, and the number of flu patients usually peaks in January and February, Waner said.