Contact: Geni Alexander, Public Information Officer
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PUBLIC HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES TO OFFER
FREE FLU VACCINE TO BOONE COUNTY CHILDREN
David B. Lichtenstein Foundation Grant Funds Vaccine for Boone County Kids
(COLUMBIA, MO) - Thanks to a generous $122,341 grant from the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, a Columbia-based philanthropic organization, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will offer free seasonal flu vaccine to children in Boone County this fall.
Pending City Council approval of the funding, the grant will:
"Every year, thousands of kids across the country get the flu, some with very serious outcomes", said Stephanie Browning, Public Health and Human Services Director. "This funding will make it easier for Boone County kids to be protected this flu season."
Flu vaccine will be available to people of all ages beginning Monday, October 3rd, at the health department clinic, 1005 West Worley in Columbia. Flu vaccine will be available without an appointment, Monday - Friday from 8 am - 4:30 pm. Funding from the foundation will provide FREE seasonal flu vaccine to all Boone County children age 6 months - 18 years. This applies to both injectable vaccine (the "flu shot") and FluMist®. FluMist®is approved for healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2 - 49.
For adults age 19 and older, cost of the vaccine is $25 for injectable vaccine or $30 for FluMist®. This year, we will bill the following insurance plans: Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Aetna and Humana. We accept cash, check or credit cards. Receipts can be given upon request.
In 2009 and 2010, the health department received federal and state funding which allowed for school-based vaccination clinics. That funding is not available this year. Before being approached by the foundation, the department made the decision not to offer free school-based flu clinics, due to the project's high costs.
Getting a flu vaccine every year is your best protection from the flu. Over a 31-year period, flu-associated deaths nationwide have ranged from about 3,000 to 49,000 each year. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in 2009, more than 1,300 Missourians died from the flu and/or pneumonia. For more information on the flu, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu.