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National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 5-11, 2021
By Susan Dunlap
Frankfort, KY - Kentuckians are encouraged to get a flu vaccination during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 5-11, to prevent the spread of flu this holiday season.
"The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu," said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). "If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to get the flu and spread the flu to those at greatest risk for becoming dangerously ill, including young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions. With COVID-19 cases escalating and the added threat of circulating flu viruses, it is imperative that every Kentuckian take the essential steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities."
KDPH officials report weekly to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. Kentucky currently is reporting 36 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu with the state flu activity level currently classified as "Local." The weekly report is now available online and is updated each Friday.
Flu is a serious upper respiratory illness that can lead to prolonged illness and absenteeism from school or work; inpatient and outpatient medical care including visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations; and, in severe cases, death.
National Influenza Vaccination Week is a weeklong observance that serves as a reminder to those people who have not yet received a flu vaccine that the time to get vaccinated continues into winter - through February or later - when flu season typically peaks. Because it takes about two weeks for the body to develop protective antibodies against the flu following vaccination, Kentuckians who have not had a chance to be vaccinated should seek out the opportunity now. Vaccine supplies are considered plentiful at this time, but people are urged to call their providers or pharmacies to check on availability.
Throughout the week, the CDC and KDPH will highlight the importance of vaccinations for those people at high risk, their close contacts and all those who want to be protected against the flu. In addition, good health habits such as washing hands often with soap and warm water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and staying at home from work or school when sick will also be emphasized.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a flu vaccine for all individuals six months of age and older. People who are strongly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences include:
Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. Flu can be very contagious. For more information on influenza or the availability of flu vaccine, Kentuckians should contact their primary medical care professional, local health department or local pharmacy. Influenza information is also available online at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
This story was posted on 2021-12-10 11:18:00
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