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Flu shots urged in Kentucky to prevent burden on hospitals

September 20, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentuckians should get the flu vaccine to help lessen the strain on hospitals in the coming months, the state’s health commissioner said.

Dr. Steven Stack said in a statement that if more Kentuckians get immunized against the flu, hospitals will have more capacity to care for COVID patients and other patients as well.

“In a typical winter, flu always drives up the number of people in the hospital. In bad years, hospitals really get strained or taxed with the number of influenza patients who fill them,” Stack said in a statement. “The flu vaccine does protect large numbers of people and prevents substantial burdens to the hospitals.”

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.