Sunday, October 20, 2002

List links Tristate's residents to flu shots

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

EDGEWOOD - For the current flu season, the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department is giving flu shots, and health workers are referring people to a centralized list of flu shot locations in 20 Tristate counties.

  To schedule an appointment for a flu shot, Northern Kentucky residents 65 and older can call:
• The Boone County Health Center at (859) 363-2060.
• The Campbell County Health Center at (859) 431-1704.
• The Grant County Health Center at (859) 578-3690.
• The Kenton County Health Center at (859) 431-3345.
The list, available at or by calling (513) 931-SHOT (7468), is provided by the Greater Cincinnati Health Improvement Collaborative. Flu shots are available at many Tristate drug stores, groceries, health clinics and discount stores, and the information is updated every 48 hours.

Although there is no shortage of the flu vaccine this year, health officials say it takes two weeks after getting a flu vaccine for protection to develop. That protection may last for up to a year.

"I see our role this year as a resource to link people to where shots are available in Greater Cincinnati, not just in our health centers," said Evie Van Herpe, epidemiology administrator. "We want to encourage everyone to get a flu shot this season, but at the Northern Kentucky health department, we will target older adults, age 65 and older who are considered to be at the highest risk for complications such as pneumonia or death from influenza. These adults are less able to wait in lines for shots at community flu clinics."

Northern Kentuckians who are 65 and older can call one of four health centers in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Grant counties to schedule an appointment for a flu shot. The cost is $10 and can be paid by cash or check. The health department no longer bills to third parties.

Others at high risk for flu and its complications include adults 50 and older, anyone with a long-term health problem, pregnant women past their third month of pregnancy during the flu season, children and teens on long-term aspirin therapy and at a risk for developing Reyes Syndrome, family members of those at high risk, as well as their caregivers, families and friends who visit residents in long-term care facilities, and health professionals in close contact with people at flu risk.

Symptoms of influenza include sudden onset of chills, fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, dry cough and extreme fatigue. Each year, the flu causes thousands of deaths nationwide, mostly among the elderly. Besides getting the vaccine, health officials advise people to wash their hands often during flu season.


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