Local flu clinics available for students, residents this month

By Faith Hufford

As flu season approaches, students and Lexington residents will have many opportunities this month to get vaccinated on and off campus.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will be holding a free drive-thru flu shot clinic tomorrow from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Lexmark parking lot at the Newtown Pike entrance.

“We want students to be aware of the services at the health department and let them know we are here for them,” said Kevin Hall, spokesman for the health department. “This clinic will also give us a chance to test Lexington’s emergency preparedness plan.”

Certified staff members from the health department will approach vehicles to administer the shots. The drive-thru style will make it faster and possible to reach more people, Hall said.

“Our goal is to give 1,000 shots in two hours,” Hall said.

The Kroger on Euclid Avenue is also hosting a flu shot clinic on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shots cost $30, and students with a student ID can receive a $5 Kroger gift card. Immunizing pharmacists will administer 400 shots that day.

Anyone interested in getting the shot must make an appointment by calling the Kroger pharmacy at 859-266-9264 by the morning of Oct. 15.

Students can also get flu shots at University Health Service from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26 at different locations and times on campus. Shots cost $10 for all students with a valid student ID and $20 for all others. UK has 2,500 flu shots available for the week.

Influenza is a disease caused by a virus and is easily transmitted by touching objects, sharing things and kissing, said Dr. Greg Moore, director of University Health Services.

Flu is especially predominant in winter months, Moore said, and symptoms of the flu are muscle aches, headaches, high fever, dry cough and extreme fatigue.

The best ways to prevent the transmission of the flu virus is to wash hands, use sanitizers and avoid sharing things, such as a drinks. Getting vaccinated is always the best way to prevent getting sick, he said.

Last year, 88 cases of influenza were reported within the student body, Moore said.

“In general for college kids, it won’t kill you,” Moore said, “but it does kill 36,000 people in the U.S, mostly older people.

“It is a big deal when students get the flu because they get behind in school, and they are usually out of commission for a week. That’s why prevention is the best way to deal with flu season; keeping kids in school is our main priority.”