Health & Safety

September 15, 2013

Health care professionals recommend flu shots

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Autumn is just a few weeks away, the time of year when oppressive summer heat gives way to cooler weather.

It’s also the time of year when flu activity begins, reaching its peak in January or February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, people need not suffer any of the symptoms associated with the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches; the flu vaccine offers the best protection against the illness, 359th Medical Group health care professionals said.

“A yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older helps protect against influenza,” Lt. Col. (Dr.) Yi Yang, 359th Medical Operations Squadron director of immunizations, said. “It is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that are expected to cause the most illness during the flu season.”

The three main strains are H3N2, influenza B and H1N1.

The safety of the flu vaccine – which is available in injectable and nasal-spray forms – is closely monitored by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, but there may be minor side effects associated with the vaccine such as pain at the injection site, fever, sore throat and a runny nose, Yang said.

The CDC describes the flu as a “contagious disease caused by the influenza virus that can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions.” The flu, which affects 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population, can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.

Populations at higher risk for flu-related complications include pregnant women, young children, people 50 years of age and older, people with chronic medical problems and health care workers.

Yang said it’s important to receive the flu vaccine as early as possible – when the vaccines are available – because the influenza season can begin as early as September. He also said the severity of the flu season cannot be predicted; it varies from year to year.

Department of Defense policy requires immunization of all active-duty and Air Reserve Component members against influenza; if these members are located on an installation with a medical treatment facility, they must receive their vaccine through the local MTF.

In addition, TRICARE Prime’s reimbursement program entitles Air Force beneficiaries to receive influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at TRICARE retail network pharmacies at no additional cost.

JBSA-Randolph health care professionals said it’s important that beneficiaries who receive these vaccines provide the MTF with documentation of the vaccines to ensure accurate records; they should hand-carry, scan and email, or fax their immunization record to the clinic.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

9/11 Tower Challenge held at UofA

The Never Forgotten 9/11 Tower Challenge was held at the University of Arizona Football Stadium on Sept. 11. Approximately 350 participants, including personnel from D-M, attempted the challenge of climbing 2,071 stairs. This f...
 
 

Core elements work together

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The Air Force has built a suicide prevention program based on 11 overlapping core elements that stress community involvement and leadership in the prevention of suicides in the military: Leadership involvement — Air Force leaders actively support the entire spectrum of suicide prevention initiatives in the community. Addressing suicide...
 
 

Keep sports safe

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Playing sports is fun and it helps people keep in shape and relieve stress. However, if one is not careful, playing sports can result in injuries that keep Airmen on the sideline and out of work. “The main cause of sports-related injuries is over aggressive play and people going...
 

 
DoD

Ice bucket challenge – What does DOD say?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — If you have been following social media lately, you’ve seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge all over your newsfeed and Instagram. This has become an internet phenomenon in which people get doused with ice water to raise money to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease....
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 
 

Advise Airmen of rights before asking questions

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Every day supervisors are faced with challenging scenarios and situations that require them to engage in efforts to help their Airmen. When this engagement is due to a negative act such as theft, damage to property or other possible legal violations, we must resist the instinct to question them...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin