The 2012-2013 Influenza Immunization Campaign at Fort Irwin has kicked off in preparation for the influenza season.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Individuals over the age of 65, young children, and individuals with certain health conditions are more vulnerable and may be at a higher risk for serious complications of flu illness. Vaccination is the most effective defense against infection with the influenza virus and its complications.
The 2012-2013 season flu vaccine provides protection against three influenza strains: Type A/California (H1N1), Type A/Victoria (H3N2) and Type B/Texas.
Individuals who have ever had a serious reaction to eggs or previous reactions to flu vaccine and those who have been diagnosed with Guillain Barré Syndrome should consult a physician prior to receiving the vaccine.
Tricare covers influenza vaccination for Tricare beneficiaries, as long as it is administered in a doctor’s office or a Tricare retail network pharmacy. Flu shots administered in other locations are not covered by Tricare.
To locate a Tricare retail network pharmacy, go to http://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy/ or call Express Scripts at 877-363-1303.
Recommendations to stay healthy include taking the following everyday actions:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after use. If you don’t have tissue, sneeze into your sleeve.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can spread quickly.
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours except to seek medical care.