Governor Urges Kentuckians To Get Flu Shots

Reported by: Tom Kenny
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Updated: 9/28/2012 7:14 pm

Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear urged Kentuckians to protect themselves against flu this season.

The Governor and First Lady received their influenza vaccinations from the staff of First Onsite Clinics, which provide health care services for state employees in several state office clinics.  

“We make sure to get our flu shots because it’s the best way to prevent the illness,” Gov. Beshear said.  “It’s a simple way to help keep yourself and your family healthy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. For some people, it’s especially important to get vaccinated. Those include:

•People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu, including:

§         People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease

§         Pregnant women

§         People 65 years and olde

•     People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications, including household members and caregivers of people with conditions like asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

 A detailed list is available from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm.

“No matter how often we wash our hands or cover our mouths when coughing or sneezing, the threat of catching the flu still exists,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “Getting this vaccine is a valuable prevention tool against the flu virus – it is quick, nearly painless and will help Kentuckians be healthier in the upcoming season.”

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, state epidemiologist. “The flu can cause serious illness and even result in death, and so we encourage all Kentuckians to do their part to prevent its spread through our communities this year.”

“As part of the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan’s (KEHP) overall wellness strategy, we are committed to creating greater access to preventative care, which is why we encourage all members to get vaccinated during our annual free flu shot campaign,” said Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer. “Protecting Kentucky’s teachers, retirees, public employees and those they serve from the onset of the flu leads to fewer days missed from work, lower flu-related health care costs and helps to keep our members living well.”

KEHP members can receive a free flu shot now through Nov. 30 at a variety of participating provider locations including: doctors’ offices, health clinics, retail pharmacies, local health department and other medical providers. KEHP members can also receive a free flu shot, on a first-come, first-served bases, at a number of open enrollment benefit fairs across the state. Visit kehp.ky.gov for additional information. Members can click here for specific benefit fair information.

 Last year, nearly 73,000 state health plan members took advantage of this benefit.  KEHP is planning for higher utilization this year due to the launch of a fully-incentivized wellness program, HumanaVitality®.  Under the new program, members are rewarded for making healthy choices, including getting vaccinated.  KEHP members can visit LivingWell.ky.gov for additional free flu shot information and to log in to HumanaVitality.

 

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