National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 7-13

December 8, 2014

Metro Public Health and Wellness Urges People to Get Flu Shots

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 8, 2014) December 7-13 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. The Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness urges everyone 6 months of age and older protect themselves against the flu by getting immunized. 

Flu immunizations are widely available throughout the community at physicians’ offices, pharmacies (such as Walgreens, RiteAid, and CVS) and at many discount department stores (such as Walmart and Target). 

Flu immunizations are also available by appointment at three health department sites

Dixie Health Center
7219 Dixie Highway

502-937-7277
 

Middletown Health Center
200 Juneau Drive
502-245-1074

Newburg Health Center
4810 Exeter Avenue
502-458-0778

 “While the Ebola virus has been in the news a lot recently, influenza poses a much more widespread threat to public health in Louisville and in America,” said Metro Public Health and Wellness director, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. “It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Nesbitt. “We recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get the vaccine.”

In the United States, an estimated 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. 

The Louisville area is now seeing flu cases. As of December 5, there had been 27 laboratory confirmed cases and 420 positive rapid test results. Flu season typically peaks in January and February.

Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of death and serious disease from the flu and its complications. It is especially important for these people to be immunized against the flu:

  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Children younger than age 5, but especially children younger than age 2
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain medical conditions including
    • Asthma
    • Heart disease
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • People younger than 19 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy
    • People who are morbidly obese

            The flu vaccine is available by shot or nasal spray. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers must cover the cost of preventive services such as immunizations. Those who have health insurance should have no out-of-pocket cost for getting the flu vaccine. 

Walgreens is again partnering with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide free flu shots to those who are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford the vaccine. They will partner with eligible organizations to provide these vaccines. Please contact Christina Pack at 502-240-1629 or christina.pack@walgreens.com if you are interested.

More information about the flu and flu vaccines is available at http://www.flu.gov/.