Baptist Health Paducah will offer curbside flu shots from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. now through Oct. 3, just outside the main entrance of the hospital located at 2501 Kentucky Ave in Paducah.
Flu shots cost $40 for the basic flu vaccine and $70 for the high-dose vaccine, which is recommended for those over age 65. There is no co-pay or out-of-pocket expense for a flu vaccine when a patient’s insurance is in-network.
What to expect?
• Arriving patients will receive paperwork and parking instructions. You may visit BaptistHealth.com/FluShot to print out paperwork and complete it ahead of time for quicker service.
• Paperwork will be collected/verified by a clinical staff member and then the injection will be given.
• It is possible to have a reaction to a flu shot, so staff will monitor your response for about 20 minutes following the injection, while you wait in your car.
• Masks will be required while interacting with staff, even if you are in your vehicle, for both your protection and the protection of our staff.
• Staff will be wearing protective gear including masks, gloves and face shields.
Getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year, with the virus that causes COVID-19 — and the virus that causes flu — both spreading this fall and winter. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for all people older than six months.
While there is disagreement among experts about the perfect time to get a flu shot, the CDC recommends being vaccinated by the end of October.
“Annual flu shots are an important part of flu prevention, especially in this season of concern regarding COVID,” said Brad Housman, MD, chief medical officer of Baptist Health Paducah. “In addition to good hand washing and staying home if you’re sick, vaccination is a very important part of keeping our community healthy.”
Typically, the flu season in Kentucky begins in October or November; however, health officials are already seeing influenza infections in Kentucky during September. If the flu shot is given too early, young children and adults over age 65 may see the vaccine’s strength weaken in the final weeks of the flu season, making people in these two groups more susceptible to catching the virus. Flu shots last about six months.
The influenza vaccine takes two weeks to be effective. There are many strains of the flu virus, and there is no guarantee the combination chosen this year means you will not get the flu. However, getting the vaccine provides benefits even if the flu bug bites you.
“Benefits include prevention and spread of flu,” Dr. Housman added. “Additionally, there is reasonable evidence that if you have had the flu shot, and subsequently do have a case of the flu, that it will be a milder and shorter illness as compared to those who don’t vaccinate. Usual flu symptoms include fever, chills, aches and respiratory symptoms, all of which can be milder if you catch the flu and have been vaccinated.”
In addition to the two curbside clinics, flu shots are also being given at Baptist Health Urgent Care, located on the Baptist Health Paducah campus. No appointment is needed.
Who should get the shot?Baptist Health strongly supports the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation that everyone six months of age and older should get the flu shot. In particular, we especially encourage certain high -risk groups to be vaccinated, including:
• Children age six months through 59 months and their caregivers
• Women who are or will be pregnant during flu season
• Those age 50 or older
• Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater
• Anyone over six-months-old with chronic health problems and their caregivers
• Nursing home and long-term care facility residents
• Healthcare workers. Baptist Health requires its employees to have a flu shot unless there are medical or religious reasons why the person cannot be vaccinated.
Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu, with its fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.