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Free Flu Shots For Elementary Schoolers

Craig Cooper

Genesis Health System is offering free flu shots to elementary age kids this season. 

Spokesman Craig Cooper says that while children do not normally get severe flu symptoms, they can carry the virus and infect the eldery, infants, and pregnant women. 

"The reason why it's so important is because last year in the United States there were about 80,000 deaths related to flu complications. Now, most of those were not pediatrics - kids - but there were almost 200 kids who died from flu complications last year."

Genesis has been offering flu shots since September. The free program will end next week. Cooper says in past years, about 9,000 children got vaccinated.

"It's a national issue. The vaccination rate in the United States is not as good as it should be for seasonal influenza. We wish it was a lot higher."

There are 89 schools in the program including Rock Island, Scott, Clinton, and Jackson counties.

Credit Craig Cooper
Rascal the Quad City River Bandits mascot was in attendance because River Bandits provide financial support to Flu-Free Quad Cities. About 70 kids received vaccinations on Monday morning. The other mascot is the Truman School mascot Timber.