The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) began administering flu vaccinations this week. The vaccine will be available to all residents aged six months and older. Individuals with a severe egg allergy are advised to consult with their primary health provider about receiving the flu vaccine. Some individuals such as older people, young children, and those with certain health conditions have a greater risk of severe flu complications. Vaccinations are offered on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu, the vaccine protects against viruses that research suggests will be most common for the season. PHHS will provide flu vaccinations to all children age six months through 18 years at no cost thanks to a continued partnership with MU Children's Hospital and the David B. Lichenstein Foundation. Their beneficent funding and support will aid public health nurses in coordinating flu clinics in participating Boone County elementary, middle and high schools this fall. These school-based clinics will begin in late September. Parents with any questions about their school's participation are encouraged to contact their school nurse.
The cost of the vaccine for residents age 19 and older will vary depending on their insurance coverage. The PHHS clinic accepts cash, credit and debit cards, checks and can bill various insurance plans through a system known as VaxCare. A list of the insurance providers accepted through the VaxCare billing system can be found at CoMo.gov/Health/Clinical-Services/Clinical-Service-Fees/Missouri-Insurance-List. For self-pay residents, the cost of the vaccine is $25. Receipts will be available upon request. A high-dose flu shot is available specifically for persons age 65 and older.
"The single best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated," PHHS Director Stephanie Browning said. "In addition to protecting yourself, you are protecting the children, elderly and others in your life who are more at risk for becoming critically ill if you pass the virus on to them."
For more information, visit: CoMo.gov/Health/Flu or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/flu-season-2019-2020.htm