The Springfield district and its community partners are offering the seasonal flu vaccine to students, teachers and staff at no charge, as long as supplies last.

Flu vaccine clinics, which are underway, are expected to continue during the upcoming weeks.

The vaccine is available to students learning in person or virtually as well as employees working in schools or remotely.

More: SPS mulls return to five days in person for elementary, middle schools

Jean Grabeel, manager of health services for Springfield Public Schools, said offering the flu vaccine is even more important this year.

“By providing the flu vaccine this fall, we will have an opportunity to further reduce illness in the learning environment, which certainly increases our ability to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

The district is offering the vaccine to students free of charge through a partnership with the Jordan Valley Community Health Center and support from CoxHealth, Mercy and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Last year, the district administered more than 6,000 flu shots and reached 21 percent of its students, compared to 15 percent in each of the prior years.

“We want to continue that momentum for this year,” Grabeel said.

The district will administer the flu vaccine on-site at each school building for both virtual and in-person students.

To access a flu shot, follow these steps:

  • Submit a signed consent form for each student to receive the vaccine. The forms can be accessed online at
  • Find out when the flu vaccine clinic will be available at each school.
  • Virtual students need to determine which day they will participate.

Under the current set-up, nearly 25 percent of students learn virtually full-time during the fall semester. The other 75 percent attend either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.

Each school will have a flu clinic for students who attend at the start or the end of the week. For example, here is the schedule for this week:

Monday and Thursday

  • Central High School
  • Pipkin Middle School
  • Boyd Elementary
  • Reed Academy

Tuesday and Friday

  • Pleasant View Elementary and Middle School
  • Hillcrest High School
  • Truman Elementary
  • Bowerman Elementary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, recommends every person who is at least six months old get vaccinated each season. To prevent illness during the flu season, the CDC urges people to wash their hands, avoid people who are sick and to stay home from work or school if ill.

Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to and consider supporting vital local journalism by subscribing. Learn more by visiting

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