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Flu shots urged in Kentucky to prevent burden on hospitals

Dr. Stack said if more Kentuckians get immunized against the flu, hospitals will have more capacity to care for COVID patients and other patients.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky's public health commissioner is urging residents to get the flu vaccine to help lessen the strain on hospitals in the coming months. 

Dr. Steven Stack says if more Kentuckians get immunized against the flu, hospitals will have more capacity to care for COVID patients and other patients as well. Stack says the flu drives up the number of people who are hospitalized in a typical winter. 

RELATED: VERIFY: No, the flu shot will not result in a positive COVID-19 test

In the U.S., the flu can be detected all year, but it's most commonly found during the fall and winter. The CDC says the exact timing and duration of the flu season varies each year but it typically begins in October, peaks between December and February, quiets down in March, but activity can last into May.

Experts say October is usually the best time to get the shot because flu season tends to pick up by the end of the month.

The CDC says it takes about two weeks after you get vaccinated for your body to develop antibodies against the flu, and the IAC says for most people immunity lasts at least six months. 

According to Gov. Andy Beshear’s office, dozens of Kentucky hospitals currently are experiencing critical staff shortages and are running out of available beds in adult intensive care units.

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