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Got your flu and COVID shots? Lexington health department reports cases are on the rise

If you’ve put off getting your latest flu and COVID-19 vaccines, you might want to make that a priority before you attend office holiday parties or family gatherings.

Influenza and COVID-19 are spreading in Lexington, with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department reporting Monday the agency is seeing big jumps in case counts.

The area is now up to 227 lab-confirmed influenza cases, and about 87% of those occurred in people who had not gotten their seasonal flu shot. Additionally, last week was the third week in a row Lexington added at least 40 new flu cases.

The LFCHD reported its first two lab-confirmed flu cases of the 2023-24 season back in early October.

Coronavirus cases are also on the rise in Lexington. Not including positives from at-home tests, the city saw 349 new COVID-19 cases last week, and 371 the week before. According to the health department, that’s the highest two-week total since early February.

What about COVID-19 and flu across Kentucky?

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ latest respiratory viruses report, dated Nov. 30, classifies COVID-19 activity as “moderate.”

Kentucky largely scaled back its reporting of COVID-19 data with the sunset of the public health emergency in May. However, a New York Times dashboard for the state using CDC data indicates hospitalizations for the disease increased by 15% in the two weeks leading up to Nov. 18, the most recent data available.

At the same time, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity is increasing in Kentucky, the state agency reports, while hospitalizations for both are also on the rise.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest influenza monitoring update for Kentucky reported activity of influenza-like illnesses as “low” in the week leading up to Nov. 25, the most recent data available.

Where can I find my flu shot or the new COVID-19 vaccine?

The latest vaccines for flu and COVID-19 are widely available at retail pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS.

The LFCHD also gives vaccines to people without insurance and to children with Medicaid at no cost to the recipient. The clinic is open from Monday to Thursday. You can make a same-day appointment by calling 859-288-2483.

The cost for the COVID-19 and flu vaccines will depend largely on your health insurance plan, though if you are insured, you should be able to get the latest coronavirus vaccine for free.

It will take up to 14 days after your COVID-19 vaccination for your body to build up protection against the virus, so you may want to get it well before any holiday gatherings with family.

-Do you have a question about COVID-19 or the flu in Kentucky for our service journalism team? Let us know via the Know Your Kentucky form below or email us at ask@herald-leader.com.