As the holiday season approaches, state officials are encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu. There have been 384 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in regions across Kentucky since August 4th.
Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, so it is very important to get the flu shot as soon as possible.
The flu vaccine has been changed to better protect against the types of flu that were seen last season. Both the CDC and manufacturers of the flu vaccine report that there are no shortages of vaccine. Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season, but providers are encouraged to administer the vaccine as soon as possible. Medicaid, Medicare and most private health insurance providers cover flu vaccination as a preventive service. Last year in Kentucky, there were 194 flu-related deaths, two of which were children.