Local health officials are hoping to vaccinate more elderly people, children under 2 and other high-risk individuals before the peak of the flu season arrives.
Thanks to the arrival last week of 1,200 additional doses of the vaccine, the Columbia/Boone County Health Department will host a clinic Wednesday at the department’s offices at 1005 West Worley.
Shots will be given only to people at high risk for complications from the flu — children under 2, adults over 65, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and health care workers.
The health department distributed more than 600 of the vaccinations Tuesday, but another 600 remain, said Public Health Manager Mary Martin.
“A mass clinic is the best way to get these vaccinations to the people who need them most,” Martin said.
Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there would be a limited number of flu vaccinations available. The center recommended that they be given to high-risk individuals first.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director (DHSS) Dick Dunn said in a press release Tuesday that the state has been working “nonstop” to distribute every dose of the vaccine it receives.
“Our job then is to do all we can to ensure that all vaccine is given to high-risk Missourians who need it most,” Dunn said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us to help see Missouri through this flu season.”
Flu seasons are difficult to predict, according to the CDC. Generally the flu season does not peak in Missouri until February, although last year there were an unusually high number of cases in November. That has not been the case so far this month, according to the CDC.