Home : News : Article Display

Andrews gears up for 2006 flu season

ANDREWS AFB, Md. -- The 2006 Andrews Active Duty and Department of Defense employee Flu Drive will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday at the 79th Medical Group Conference Center in building 1075. During this time, members will also receive all other required vaccinations. Members are requested to bring their old shot records if they have them. The flu vaccine is mandatory for all Active Duty members. 

Dependents and other beneficiaries who need the flu vaccine should go to their primary care manager clinic or the Allergy and Immunizations clinic to be vaccinated as noted below. The Allergy and Immunizations clinic will be closed during the Flu Drive. 

"No shortage of vaccine is expected this year," said Maj. Carl E. Thornblade, 79th Medical Group Allergy, Asthma and Immunology chief. "However, we are experiencing delays in distribution of the injectable vaccine. Currently, we have plenty of FluMist, the intranasal spray form of the vaccine, and we expect to receive the injectable form of the vaccine by early to mid-November. The FluMist is only indicated for healthy individuals 5 to 49 years old, whereas the flu shot can be given to anyone over six months of age. 

FluMist is currently available at all primary care clinics and the Allergy and Immunizations Clinic. No prescription is needed. The Allergy and Immunizations clinic maintains a recorded message regarding the availability of the injectable flu vaccine at 240-857-7426, option four. Patrons are encouraged to call this number for the most up-to-date information before driving out to the base. 

The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which can spread from infected persons primarily through coughing and sneezing. People can spread the virus even before they realize they are sick because the time from infection until symptoms develop can range from one to four days. 

Adults remain infectious for about five days after symptoms begin and children may remain infectious for up to 10 days. Symptoms of the flu include abrupt onset of fever, chills, coughing, headache, runny nose, sore throat, muscle and joint pains. Most people feel ill from influenza for three to seven days, but others may need to be hospitalized. 

On average, more than 225,000 people are hospitalized each year in the United States, resulting in about 36,000 deaths per year. In the 2003 to 2004 flu season, 152 of these deaths were in children. In the 2004 to 2005 flu season, about 75 children died from influenza. 

"Virtually everyone can benefit from the protection afforded by a flu shot," said Major Thornblade. "The vaccine is updated every year to ensure it matches the current circulating virus strain." 

The current flu vaccine doesn't protect against the Avian flu, which is caused by a particular strain of influenza virus called the influenza A H5N1 virus. There's no vaccine to protect humans against the H5N1 virus, although research trials are underway, he said. There have been no cases of Avian flu in the United States, but officials are working on strategies to protect and treat this disease should it occur here. 

The peak flu season in the United States typically runs from December to March each year. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine is strongly recommended for:
- Those 50 years and older. 
-  Individuals living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions.
- Adults and children six months and older with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, including asthma. Hypertension isn't considered high-risk.
- Adults and children six months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a chronic metabolic disease -- such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hemoglobinopathies or weakened immune system, including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus HIV/ AIDS.
- Adults and children six months and older who have any condition that can affect breathing or the ability to handle lung secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration such as spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, cognitive dysfunction, or other neuromuscular disorders.
- Children and adolescents six months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. Chil-dren given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye syndrome.
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season; the vaccine is safe in any trimester.
- All children six to 59 months of age.
- Employees in healthcare.
- Caregivers of children ages 0 to 59 months and people at high risk for severe complications from influenza.

(Courtesy of the 79th Medical Group Allergy, Asthma and Immunology office)
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.