Kentucky health officials encouraging flu shots, COVID-19 boosters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A new partnership between state health officials is encouraging Kentuckians to roll up their sleeves for both COVID-19 booster shots and flu shots ahead of a “severe flu season.”

According to Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, health officials are anticipating a rise in flu and COVID-19 cases in the coming months. And to get more people vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu, the foundation for a announced a new $1 million partnership. 

Over the next four months, the foundation will release videos, graphics and other educational information regarding the pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots. Organizations, employers and health care providers can find the materials on the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky website

The goal is to help reduce misinformation surrounding vaccines and better protect Kentuckians from influenza and coronavirus.

“Kentuckians may be living as if the pandemic is over, but we can’t completely let our guard down,” Chandler said. “People are still getting sick. Some are still going to the hospital. And some are still dying from COVID. Others are having long-term symptoms after getting the infections.”

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases are still possible, however, Chandler said being fully-vaccinated greatly reduces your risk of severe illness or death. 

“Here in Kentucky, data shows you have a 12.9x lower risk of dying from COVID if you’ve received an additional or booster dose than those who are unvaccinated,” Chandler said. “That’s a big number.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said Kentuckians shouldn’t act as though the pandemic is completely behind them. 

“The best way to prevent serious illness from COVID or the flu is staying up to date on your vaccinations,” she said. “If we all do our part, we can minimize COVID and flu this winter season and enjoy time with our friends, neighbors and loved ones.”

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