Oct 15, 2012 9:03 AM
There might be less coughing, body aches and fevers this fall and winter thanks to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
LFCHD employees gave 1,669 free flu shots Oct. 12 as part of its annual Free Flu Friday event, which provides the community with vaccinations while allowing the department to test its emergency preparedness. This year's Free Flu Friday was held at Imani Family Life Center.
"Free Flu Friday was a look at the best of public health in Lexington," said Kevin Hall, health department spokesman. "Through a community partnership with Imani, we were able to have a spacious facility in which to provide a large number of free shots in a relatively small amount of time."
Events like Free Flu Friday make sure the health department is prepared for times like 2009 when H1N1 appeared. "Our nurses and staff were accustomed to these large-scale vaccination events, so we were able to respond swiftly, efficiently and effectively for Lexington," Hall said. "As a result, our community remains safer, healthier and better informed about the flu."
This year's Free Flu Friday saw the debut of an advance registration form that could be printed off from LexFluCrew.com, then brought to Imani the day of the event. More than 600 people used the form, Hall said, which helped cut down on time spent waiting in line.
"Even at our busiest times, most people only had to wait 15-20 minutes, which is great for those people wanting to stop by on their way to or from work," Hall said. Many participants also accessed information from the health department's Facebook and Twitter accounts to get regular updates.
The seasonal flu shot, which also provides protection against H1N1, is recommended to all people ages 6 months and older. Last year, Lexington had 143 confirmed cases of the flu. The health department provided more than 5,000 flu vaccinations throughout the season.
Those who were unable to attend Free Flu Friday can still get a flu shot 3-5 p.m. Tuesdays at the Public Health Clinic at 805A Newtown Circle. No appointment is necessary, and the cost for a flu shot is $25. Medicaid/Medicare, cash, checks, credit cards and some insurances are accepted.
For additional information, find the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD. Flu information can also be found at www.LexFluCrew.com and on the flu hotline, (859) 288-7529.