Health & Safety

September 27, 2012

Flu Season

Cmdr. Andrew Archilla, Branch Medical Commanding Officer
Photos by Cpl. Shelby Shields
Cmdr. Andrew Archilla, Branch Medical commanding officer and Col. Robert Kuckuk, station commanding officer kick off the season by receiving their flu vaccines Sept. 24 at the station Headquarters building.

Vaccinate to protect you and your loved ones from the Flu beginning October 1st.  BHC Yuma will be offering the seasonal flu vaccine every Monday thru Wednesday and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 8-11:30 a.m beginning October 1st.    Due to expected demand and for your added convenience, from October 1st thru October 3rd, a registration table to receive the vaccine will be also located adjacent to the Pharmacy waiting area inside the BHC.  Additionally, on October 3rd the Clinic will be offering an after hour’s vaccine clinic from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

A military ID card is required to receive the flu vaccine except children 10 or under.

All beneficiaries will complete a screening form to assure they meet the criteria to receive the flu vaccine.

Everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine.  It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response.  Get vaccinated now so you’ll be protected all season long!

Now that kids are back in school, we are reminded of many things typical of this time of year—parent-teacher meetings, sporting events and extracurricular activities.  This time of year should also serve as an important reminder that flu season is just around the corner.  By getting a flu vaccine for yourself and your entire family every year, you can help prevent flu-related illness, missed school, and missed work.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death.  Pneumonia and bronchitis are examples of serious flu-related complications.  The flu also can cause certain health conditions, like diabetes, asthma, and heart and lung disease, to become worse.  Anyone can get sick from the flu and spread it to friends and loved ones—even if you consider yourself to be healthy.  Getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your family from this serious disease.

While flu activity usually peaks in January or February, the flu itself is unpredictable.  And although there are many different flu viruses, the yearly flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common that flu season.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year, especially if you are at high risk for complications or you live with or care for someone who is, including the following groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Those with egg allergies may also be able to receive the seasonal flu vaccination and should contact their health care provider for an evaluation.

Flu vaccines may also be received at no cost from any TRICARE-authorized provider or at one of the TRICARE retail network pharmacies that participate in the vaccination program.  To find a participating pharmacy, search online at www.express-scripts.com/members/portalAlerts/vaccines/ or call (877) 363-1303.

For a complete list of all people recommended for flu vaccination, as well as those who are not recommended for flu vaccination, visit Who Should Get Vaccinated at CDC.gov.




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