Kentucky pediatrician urges vaccination as ‘tripledemic’ strains hospitals

Kentucky pediatrician urges vaccination as ‘tripledemic’ strains hospitals
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 11:18 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Health leaders are adding another tool for doctors to protect people this holiday season.

The new guidance means more people can get COVID-19 boosters.

With this latest approval by the FDA, anyone in America above the age of six months old can get a bivalent COVID booster shot. Doctors say that could be huge heading into the winter season.

“Every office in the country right now, every hospital is swelling with their patient numbers because of respiratory illnesses and, if we can make everyone a little bit healthier by giving them a vaccine, I think it’s going to make a difference,” said Dr. Katrina Hood, Lexington pediatrician.

Last week in Lexington, we saw 434 new COVID-19 cases and 525 new flu cases. That combination is what Dr. Katrina Hood says can overwhelm a hospital system. She says every bit you can do to minimize how sick you get, the more you help yourself and healthcare workers.

Dr. Hood says vaccines are safe and effective but understands the hesitancy that we’re seeing from parents. Right now, she says that many young kids aren’t eligible for their booster because they haven’t gotten their initial COVID vaccine yet.

Dr. Hood says that should change.

“Anytime we’ve introduced a new vaccine, there’s that bit of hesitation at the beginning and, clearly, COVID has just been this whole whirlwind of problems with it,” said Dr. Hood. “By dosing our six month and up, and anyone who hasn’t yet had the bivalent booster, what we’re able to do is give them that initial bit of immune response so they may not get as sick.”

Doctors in Fayette County are recommending that everyone who is eligible to get a COVID booster shot or just a COVID vaccine shot take advantage of it, whether you are six months old or you are a lot older.