Save the date: Free flu shot clinic to be held Oct. 6

Save the date, Lexington! We’ll be giving free flu shots 3-6 p.m. Oct. 6 at Consolidated Baptist Church, 1625 Russell Cave Road. Additional details will be available soon and will post at lfchd.org and on our Facebook page.

“An annual flu shot is the best way to fight the flu each fall and winter,” LFCHD spokesperson Kevin Hall said. “The flu shot remains important this year as we remain in the COVID-19 pandemic. It can help reduce the overall impact on respiratory illnesses on the population, which will lessen the burden on our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to helping prevent you from getting sick with flu, a flu shot can reduce the severity of your illness if you do get flu and reduce your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.

The seasonal flu shot is recommended for all people ages 6 months and older and is especially important for people at the highest risk of serious complications from the flu: infants and young children, pregnant women, anyone with underlying medical conditions and adults 50 and older.

 Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is also urging the flu shot for essential workers, including healthcare personnel and long-term care facility staff; and people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including adults 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and anyone with underlying health conditions.

Fayette County Public Schools holding special COVID-19 testing sites

Note: For more testing information throughout Lexington, visit the City of Lexington’s informational page.

Fayette County Public Schools has implemented robust health and safety protocols designed to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 so that our students reap the benefits of in-person learning. in the latest effort, our health care partners will offer voluntary free COVID-19 testing for all interested FCPS students and employees on several of our campuses, district facilities, and community locations. Individuals can go to any of the testing sites regardless of where they work or attend school.

With Gravity Diagnostics, no appointments are necessary and drive-thru testing is available. Visit here to learn more about the updated locations: FCPS COVID-19 Testing Sites.

3rd COVID-19 dose available Aug. 23 for immunocompromised people

Starting Monday, Aug. 23, third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available for immunocompromised people by same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your appointment. The third dose can be received four weeks after receiving your second dose. 

Please note this is NOT the booster dose for those who received their second dose 6 months ago (learn about the differences here: Information on third dose and booster dose). This is a third dose only for immunocompromised people. Those who need the third dose include people who:

  • Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  •  Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Have active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

More information about the third dose can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.

Anyone who has yet to receive their first dose or second dose can also call to schedule their same-day appointment! Our Public Health Clinic offers the Moderna and Janssen vaccines for ages 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and older.

Update on third dose and booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine

Note: The third dose will be available Aug. 22 in our Public Health Clinic. Learn more here: LFCHD offering 3rd dose for immunocompromised people.

The CDC has recently updated information about a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for some people and a booster dose for others. Let’s take a look at the differences between the third dose and the booster:

COVID-19 third dose

People who are immunocompromised may not build the same level of immunity with a 2-dose vaccine series and may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19. The CDC recommends people who are immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after the initial two doses. This is not the same as a booster dose.

Third doses will be available for immunocompromised patients through the health department later this week or next week after we have received the appropriate medical protocols and have all the details in place. More information will be available at www.lfchd.org and our Facebook page once it is completed.


COVID-19 booster dose

(Updated Set. 28) A booster dose is given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time. Booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 have been approved. Learn more at www.lfchd.org/PfizerBooster. While the CDC anticipates the need for a booster dose with the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, information is not yet available.

Information about how the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will provide booster doses will be available at www.lfchd.org and our Facebook page once details are finalized.

The top priority remains staying ahead of the virus and protecting people from COVID-19 with safe, effective and long-lasting vaccines. This virus is constantly changing, and vaccines remain the most powerful tool we have against COVID-19. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you should get vaccinated right away. Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated.

LFCHD to host low-cost rabies vaccination clinic Sept. 9 at Douglass Park

UPDATED AUG. 30 TO REFLECT MASK REQUIREMENT

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will host a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, at Douglass Park, 726 Georgetown Street. Because of COVID-19, masks are required for every person who attends.

Vaccinations will cost just $5. All cats and ferrets must be in a carrier, and all dogs must be on leashes. In the event of bad weather, the clinic date is subject to change, with Sept. 16 set as the rain date. The health department will provide updated information at www.lfchd.org, on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, and its Twitter account at www.twitter.com/LFCHD. A special Facebook Event page has also been created at www.facebook.com/events/4239266719496751.

Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite. Rabies vaccinations typically cost about $20, making this clinic a great value to pet owners. “A rabies shot gives protection to the pet as well as its owner and the other people of Lexington,” said Luke Mathis, LFCHD Environmental Health team leader and one of the event’s organizers. “We’re pleased to provide this useful public health service as we help Lexington be well.”

The clinic also provides pet owners with the opportunity to purchase an animal license for $8 if the animal has been spayed or neutered. A license costs $40 if the animal has not been altered or the owner has no proof of alteration. Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control, the Lexington Humane Society, the Lexington-Fayette County Division of Parks and Recreation Department and the Gainesway Small Animal Clinic are also sponsoring the event.

Be on alert for potential phone scam

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is alerting the community to a potential scam involving phone calls seeking payment for COVID-19 services. Please remember that all COVID-19 tests and vaccinations are FREE for everyone. You will not be contacted by the health department requesting a payment of any kind. If you receive a call like this, please call the Lexington Police Department at 859-258-3600 to report it.

If you receive a call from the health department and have questions about its legitimacy, you can call the LFCHD COVID-19 call center at 859-899-2222 for assistance.

Schedule kids’ back-to-school immunizations today

As Fayette County students prepare to head back to school, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is making sure they have plenty of opportunities to get their required vaccinations.

To beat the back-to-school rush, the health department will be offering immunizations by same-day appointment at the Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. To schedule an appointment or for more information about the immunizations, please call (859) 288-2483.

Participants must be 18 years or younger and be uninsured or underinsured. Medicaid is accepted. Immunization records must be brought to the appointment, and physicals will not be provided.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Fayette County students who are new to the school district or are entering kindergarten are required to bring a Kentucky immunization certificate in order to enroll. Sixth-grade students are also required to have certain boosters and must bring an up-to-date immunization certificate. Please call the health department’s school health division at (859) 288-2314 for more information.

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Public Health Clinic

(En español) The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to the community.

Starting Wednesday, June 29, the Moderna vaccine for ages 6 months-5 years will be available for free by same-day appointment in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday! A legal guardian MUST be present at the time of the shot. To complete the series, a second dose will be given after four weeks; you must call to schedule at that time.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to reduce the negative impact of this pandemic in all age groups. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than 13.5 million children in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and although most children experience mild symptoms, more than 42,000 have been hospitalized in the U.S. and at least 1,240 children aged 18 and younger have died.

The AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group. Parents are strongly encouraged to have their infants and young children vaccinated with either vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is widely available throughout Lexington and can be found at www.vaccines.gov/search.

The AAP shares this about side effects: “The same side effects that we see with routine childhood vaccines have been seen in the studies of these vaccines. They are things like soreness and redness where the shot goes in. Some babies and children don’t feel well later in the day of the shot or on the next day. A small number of vaccinated children get fever—and very few get high fever. Usually, it lasts only a day or two. Thousands of children were in the studies, and there were no children with serious allergic reactions, heart inflammation or other serious problems related to the vaccines that may worry (caregivers).”

Learn more about the vaccine in this FAQ from the American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/covid-vaccines-for-kids-6-months-and-older-faqs-for-families.aspx.

COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5 and older are also free by same-day appointment Monday, Wednesday and Thursday by calling 859-288-2483. For ages 6 months-17, a legal guardian MUST be present at the time of the shot.

Learn more about the vaccine in this FAQ from the American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/covid-vaccines-for-kids-6-months-and-older-faqs-for-families.aspx.

Information

The vaccine will not be given to someone who is already fully vaccinated. We will complete a vaccination series for someone whose first dose was given elsewhere. Vaccines will not be be given to those who are not feeling well or have not yet recovered from a current COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 vaccination is free, but your insurance will be billed for an administration fee. There will be no cost directly to you. You do not need insurance to get the free vaccine.

Thank you for your interest in getting vaccinated. If you need assistance, please call our call center at 859-899-2222.

Fight the Bite: eliminate mosquitoes this summer

This summer, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department plans to control mosquito populations in the community by bringing increased focus to eliminating standing water and preventing mosquito larvae from hatching. At the same time, the department will use mosquito trapping to identify areas where spraying for adult mosquitos would be most useful.

The health department has surveyed Lexington neighborhoods to identify and treat large areas of standing water that can serve as prime locations for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Elimination of standing water is the ultimate goal, but in places where puddles exist, the water can be treated to kill mosquito larvae with a chemical called a larvicide.

“We are increasing activities to kill mosquito larvae in areas where standing water cannot be drained,” said Luke Mathis, Environmental Health and Preparedness team leader at LFCHD.  “Targeting immature mosquitoes is a more effective control strategy as it stops mosquitoes from developing into adults that can feed on humans and transmit mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile.”

The health department will no longer conduct routine mosquito spraying for adult mosquitoes throughout the city on a regular cycle. Instead, mosquito traps will be placed in potential problem areas. If a certain threshold of mosquito activity is reached, the department will conduct targeted spraying in the appropriate areas. Those areas will be announced via the health department’s website, www.lfchd.org, and social media pages.

For spraying, the health department uses Duet, an EPA-approved agent that features a component that stimulates resting mosquitoes in trees and foliage, causing them to fly into the air and come into contact with the spray’s mosquito-killing agent, sumithrin. Duet has been rigorously tested for human and animal safety and is registered for outdoor residential and recreational areas.

Lexington residents can also take steps at home to fight mosquitoes:

● Mosquito-proof your home and yard. Fix or install window and door screens. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items such as tires, buckets, barrels and cans. Refresh the water in your pet’s water dishes and birdbaths at least every five to seven days.

● Be aware of peak mosquito activity times. The twilight hours around dusk and dawn are times of peak mosquito activity. Use insect repellent when outdoors especially during peak activity times, including early morning hours. Look for EPA-labeled repellents containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Apply repellent according to label instructions. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks outdoors. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent helps prevent bites.

“The battle against mosquitoes starts at every residence in Fayette County,” Mathis said. “By eliminating standing water, even something as small a capful of rain in your yard, you can remove areas for mosquitoes to lay eggs. It’s important for people to walk around their homes to see what they can do to help curb the mosquito population.”

To report a standing water problem in your neighborhood, please call the health department’s Environmental Health section at (859) 231-9791. For additional information, like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth.

Humbaugh receives career achievement award

Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh received the Elbert “Al” Austin Jr. Career Achievement Award from the Kentucky Public Health Association! Dr. Humbaugh has been Lexington’s commissioner of health since 2016.

The following is the nomination submitted for Dr. Humbaugh.

Full disclosure: if Dr. Kraig Humbaugh wins this award, he will place all the credit on his staff.

That’s true in his current role as Commissioner of Health of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, where he has served since 2016 (and is leaving this summer), and in numerous roles throughout the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Anyone who has worked with Dr. Humbaugh knows he is the first to take the blame for anything bad and to pass the credit for anything good.

The Elbert “Al” Austin Jr. Career Achievement Award is to honor a person “who remains humble among peers yet towers above the rest in achievements,” and if it is possible to do that AND tower about being humble, Dr. Humbaugh is doing just that.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Humbaugh has used his expertise in epidemiology to help the community better understand the data. There’s not a job he’s not been part of during the response, and it’s not just the long hours he puts in that staff notice – they also see him actively talking to almost everyone who walks through our COVID-19 vaccination clinic, holding doors for them, giving them advice and answering every question they toss at him.

Fortunately for Lexington, that type of leadership existed long before the worldwide pandemic. Dr. Humbaugh has extensive experience in public health, including epidemiology of communicable diseases, emergency preparedness and response, as well as a background as a pediatrician. He describes himself as a “prevention-oriented, data-driven public health physician and epidemiologist.”

Dr. Humbaugh has served as the state health department’s director of the Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning. He previously served as medical director for the Louisville Metro Health Department where he also was the interim director of health. He began his medical career as a pediatrician, which included a year in Russia.

Dr. Humbaugh earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from Yale University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Otago in New Zealand and received a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

He brought all of that to Lexington and immediately began to think of how to improve our outreach and health equity. He is devoted to diversity and works daily to remind that diversity in all types (race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, gender and more) is crucial to public health’s mission. In Lexington, he used that to develop our core values: CARES (Caring, Accountability, Respect, Equity and Service), so that every person in Lexington is treated with the value they deserve.

It is that leadership that makes Dr. Humbaugh deserving of honors from the Kentucky Public Health Association. He will humbly accept, and we will proudly celebrate with him.