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Kentuckians are encouraged to get flu shots

Gov. Beshear, First Lady receive vaccinations
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By Terry Sebastian & Jennifer Brislin
News from the Commonwealth News Center

Frankfort, KY (Fri 25 Sep 2015) - As flu season approaches, Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear are encouraging others to protect themselves by getting flu vaccines. The Governor and First Lady received their influenza vaccinations this week from the Frankfort First Onsite Clinic staff.

"Jane and I receive a flu shot each year at this time because we know it is the single most effective way to prevent the flu," Gov. Beshear said. "The availability and affordability of the vaccine make it easier than ever to protect yourself and your family."

"I sincerely encourage parents to get their school-age children vaccinated," said Mrs. Beshear. "Reducing the spread of the virus is especially crucial in our schools. Children who receive a flu shot are helping to create healthier classrooms and prevent missed sick days."

Manufacturers have begun shipping flu vaccines for the 2015-2016 flu season, and many locations are already administering the vaccination.

Members of the Kentucky Employees' Health Plan (KEHP) can receive a free vaccine at a variety of participating provider locations, including the Frankfort First Onsite clinics, some doctors' offices, health clinics, retail pharmacies, local health departments and other participating providers.

Through the HumanaVitality(R) wellness program, KEHP members 18 years of age and older can receive 200 Vitality Points(TM) when they receive a flu shot. Members younger than 18 who receive a flu shot will earn 100 Vitality Points, plus another 100 points for completing their immunizations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot or nasal vaccine spray for all individuals 6 months of age and older. People who should especially receive the flu vaccine, because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences, include:
  • Children age 6 months through 4 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years old or older
  • People age 6 months and older with chronic health problems
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; Health care workers, and Household contact and caregivers of or people who live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months old
The timing and duration of flu season varies but can begin as early as October and last as late as May. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop and offer protection against flu after receiving a vaccine. Vaccination can be given, however, any time during the flu season. Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.

Health officials also urge Kentuckians to practice common sense precautions to prevent illness. Avoid close contact with those who are ill; stay home when sick; cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth; and wash hands frequently.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and, the state's wellness site for KEHP members.

This story was posted on 2015-09-26 05:17:45
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