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Health department offering free vaccine to children

The Columbia Boone County Health Department is now offering free flu vaccines to children 6 months to 18 years. No appointments are needed. Anyone can walk into the clinic at the corner of West Boulevard and Worley Street, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The FluMist is not currently on hand, but it will be offered at a later date.

The vaccines are made available through the support of MU Children’s Hospital and the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation. The same support also funds flu clinics this fall in schools across Boone County. For anybody 19 and older, the cost of a shot is $25, but the clinic also accepts insurance.

The Centers for Disease Control report last season’s vaccine prevented over 7 million illnesses associated with the flu, plus 90,000 trips to the hospital.

It generally takes about two weeks for a vaccination to take effect. Over 61 million doses have already been distributed this year.

To see how this year’s shot is tailored to fit the latest viruses, go here. Experts say no matter what, precaution is always the best course of action.

“We encourage anyone over the age of six months to be vaccinated, especially if you have chronic medical conditions, are over the age of 65, or will spend time around a newborn during flu season,” said Stephanie Browning, Public Health and Human Services Director.

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