First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady receives H1N1 flu shots at First Onsite Clinic
Governor and Mrs. Beshear encourage Kentuckians to also get vaccinated
FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today received her H1N1 flu vaccination at the First Onsite Clinic for state employees in the Capitol Annex building. Most Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan (KEHP) plan members can receive the H1N1 vaccine at no cost.
The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) strain of influenza was first identified in late spring of 2009, and has since been causing a worldwide pandemic. A vaccine for the illness became available in the fall, but has only recently been in sufficient supply to expand beyond the target groups identified as being at greatest risk.
“While we have seen reduced flu activity since early December, the spread of 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) is likely to continue well into the new year. It is still important for Kentuckians to receive the H1N1 flu vaccination to help prevent its spread in the months ahead,” said Mrs. Beshear.
“I want to reassure Kentuckians that the swine flu vaccine is safe and effective, and was produced using the same methods as seasonal flu vaccine,” said Public Health Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “The swine flu vaccine is now widely available in communities across the state for anyone who wishes to receive it. We especially urge those with chronic health conditions that put them at risk of serious flu-related complications to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The target groups strongly encouraged to be vaccinated because they are at higher risk for complications from H1N1 are: pregnant women; people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months; children and young adults 6 months to 24 years of age; health care workers; and people with chronic health conditions that include asthma, neurological conditions, chronic lung and heart disease, and disorders of the kidney, liver, endocrine system and blood. However, all Kentuckians, regardless of whether they fall into any of these groups, are now encouraged to get the vaccination.
The First Lady received her vaccination today at the Capitol Annex First Onsite Clinic, one of four clinics located in state office buildings now available to employees who are enrolled in the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan (KEHP), as well as employees covered by other insurance plans. In addition to the Capitol Annex, clinics are located in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services building, the Capital Plaza Tower and the Transportation Cabinet building.
The clinics are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and are staffed by nurse practitioners and medical assistants available to assist state employees with their health and wellness needs. The medical treatment and services provided by the First Onsite Clinics are solely billed to the employees’ personal health plan. Employees must present a copy of their benefits card and remit the required copayments for services they receive at the clinics.
“We are pleased that the clinics have been visited over 1,440 times since their opening in October,” stated Personnel Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson. “We hope the convenience of having a clinic onsite offers an opportunity to enhance the health and wellness of our employees.”
Employees can use the clinic for many wellness needs, including: blood pressure monitoring; goal setting and coaching; weight management assistance, including body fat measurements; care for the common cold; allergy shots; and much more.
For more information, visit the following Web sites: First Onsite Frankfort
http://www.firstonsitefrankfort.com, Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, Department of Employee Insurance http://personnel.ky.gov/firstonsite/ and Commonwealth Employees’ Journey to Wellness Program http://personnel.ky.gov/dei/wellness/.
For more information on influenza disease or the availability of flu immunizations, please contact your local health department or visit healthalerts.ky.gov.