FLORENCE, Ky. - Can you feel the weather changing? Doctors tell us flu season will soon be here.
And no one wants a repeat. Last year was one of the worst flu seasons in Northern Kentucky with 325 cases and 30 deaths. In all of Kentucky there were more than 10,500 reported cases.
That's why this year health officials want you to "Focus on Flu."
That is the name of the new campaign that was launched Wednesday by the Kentucky Medical Association, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care.
They named Sept. 26 “Flu Shot Day" because they want everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated.
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When it comes to your health, Kentucky wants you to roll up your sleeve.
"Often times people wait until we start seeing cases and then they start taking it seriously, but the best time to prevent something from happening is before it happens," said Dr. Lynne Sadler, District Director of the Health at the Northern Kentucky Health Department.
Sadler said the last year's vaccine wasn't effective on last year's strain of flu.
"In retrospect, the CDC was able to determine it wasn't as good a match as they had anticipated it being," Sadler said.
But every year is a new year. And that's why everyone over 6 months of age is being urged to protect themselves, starting now.
At the district office in Florence, Tammy Carroll and several other employees took part in the Commonwealth’s first flu shot day.
"My children are all adults now, but I still encourage them getting all their vaccines and immunizations," Carroll said.
"The reality is even if you get the flu shot and you get sick, the flu shot can help make it a milder illness for you,” said Sadler. “The other aspect is that when you get a flu shot, you're not only protecting yourself but other people around you."
This year the vaccine makers put in different strains that they anticipated would be circulating in our area and in our country. By focusing on the flu, we can all be better protected for our loved ones and for ourselves.