Health officials urge residents to get flu shot before holidays hit

Conner Liakos, 8, waits for the stick of the needle from volunteer Nola Bienoff. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department organized the drive-thru flu shot clinic Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, as part of a training exercise to test the community public health emergency response plans.

Conner Liakos, 8, waits for the stick of the needle from volunteer Nola Bienoff. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department organized the drive-thru flu shot clinic Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, as part of a training exercise to test the community public health emergency response plans. by Kevin Anderson

It’s not too late.

That’s the message that Kansas health officials are delivering this week to folks who have procrastinated about getting a flu shot.

Thousands of people already have been vaccinated this year in Douglas County. But Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department spokeswoman Lisa Horn is asking those who haven’t received one to get a shot now.

“That way, they will have immunity by the time Christmas rolls around when they are mingling with friends and family,” Horn said.

And the flu shot will provide protection later in the season, too, when flu activity is at its highest.

Here are some numbers to gauge how this year’s flu season is shaping up:

2,124

The number of people who have received flu shots from the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department since Sept. 1.

2,055

The number of people who received flu shots from the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department during the 2010-2011 flu season.

6

The number of clinics the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department held for flu vaccines this year.

2

The number of weeks it takes before a flu shot provides optimal protection.

46.2 percent

The vaccine coverage area the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported for Kansas residents during the 2010-2011 flu season.

200,000

The number of people in the United States hospitalized each year with flu complications, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

14

Number of Kansans who died from influenza during the 2010-11 flu season. The year before, 31 people died, according to KDHE.

5 to 20

The percent of population that contracts the flu yearly.

29

The number of states where sporadic influenza activity has been reported, according to the CDC’s weekly influenza surveillance report. Nearby states include Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas.

21

The number of states where no flu activity has been reported as of the Nov. 26 CDC report. Kansas is among those states.

6 months and older

Who the CDC recommends should get a flu shot.

$28

The cost of a flu shot at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department for people 3 and older. Shots are available during regular clinic hours. For more information and to print out forms, go to www.ldchealth.org/flu.htm.

$23

The cost of a flu shot at the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department for people between the ages of 6 months and 35 months.


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host a live Twitter chat about flu prevention from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. You can follow @KDHE and search for the hashtag #KSflu, where you can get information about flu vaccines, prevention methods and symptoms.

Tagged: Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, flu shot, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, vaccine

Comments

George_Braziller 5 years, 11 months ago

No flu shot for me. I know three people who only had the flu once -- and that was AFTER they received their first flu shot.

All three swore they'd never get another one. Good enough advertising for me to steer clear.

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