Columbia’s Department of Public Health and Human Services will offer free flu shots this year for children ages six months to 18 years, Monday to Friday at 1005 W. Worley St. without an appointment.
Eric Stann, the Community Relations Specialist at the department of Public Health and Human Services says, the flu season begins around October 1, but as preventative measures people should be staying home if sick, covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a shirt sleeve. They should also frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water.
Stann says it takes about two weeks for the body to develop protection against the flu, so individuals are encouraged to get the shot on time. There will be also a high dose flu shot available specifically for people age 65 and older. If not covered by the patient’s insurance, the vaccine will cost $25.
Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Director at Columbia Public Schools, says that over 18,000 students will be able to get the vaccine at school-based clinics. She says that for many years, public schools have been able to provide flu vaccination free of charge for students and staff in Columbia Public Schools.
The school-based clinics, where the flu shots will be administered, typically begin work in October. Support is provided by MU Children’s Hospital and David B. Lichtenstein Clinic.