The flu season in Kentucky typically begins in October or November. Kentuckians are encouraged to get a flu vaccine as soon as their healthcare provider has vaccine in stock, because it takes about two weeks for immunity to develop and offer protection against the flu. Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season.
Why should you get vaccinated against the flu?
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.
How do flu vaccines work?
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Kentuckians should receive a new flu vaccination each season for optimal protection.The Kentucky Department for Public Health recommends that all persons aged six months and older, who do not have contraindications, should receive flu vaccine annually. The following groups are strongly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine because they may be at higher risk for complications: Children age 6 months through 4 years; Pregnant women; People 50 years old or older; people aged 6 months and older with chronic health problems; People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; Health care workers, household contacts and caregivers or people who live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu; and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months old.
Does flu vaccine work right away?
No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get
vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
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, please contact your local health department or visit http://cdc.gov/flu
In addition to flu vaccine, the Kentucky Department for Public Health encourages all adults 65 years and older and others in high-risk groups to ask their health care provider about the pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines.
Bullitt County Health Department hours for flu vaccine are: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 7:30am – 3:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am – 5:30pm, Friday 7:30am – 10:00am. Call 955-7837 for appointments or questions.