Flu season is near, health experts say don’t skip out on a vaccine

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:08 PM EDT
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Pharmacist Tyler Wells said we are on the cusp of flu season.

”With the change of the season, usually we kind of know that’s when flu is coming, end of summer start of fall,” said Wells.

He recommends people get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes two weeks for your body to build antibodies. Last year, Hometown Pharmacy of Hazard administered 50 flu vaccines.

”Overall though, it was a fairly effective year for the flu vaccine,” he added. “They have not released the exact numbers yet, I think the previous year was 29 percent effectiveness.”

Kentucky River District Health Department Public Health Director Scott Lockard said if you get the flu shot, but still get the flu, that means you could have gotten a less dominant strain of the virus.

”The vaccine, as we have seen, it may protect us from getting the flu,” Lockard said. “If we do get the flu, it may cause it to be much less severe illness than what would have normally occurred.”

Lockard said they expect to see more flu cases this year as we move away from our COVID practices like wearing masks. He still encourages people to wear masks in crowded spaces but said vaccines are most effective.

”Vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months and older,” he said. “The flu vaccine this year is a quadrivalent vaccine, it protects against four strains of Influenza.”