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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Aug. 29, 2012

Andrews offers free flu vaccine

By Tech. Sgt. Tia King Allergy and Immunizations Clinic

Team Andrews members ages 18 and older, to include all DoD and Tricare beneficiaries, can receive a free flu vaccination at the Andrews Community Activity Center on Sept. 26 and 27, and Oct. 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"The flu vaccine is mandatory for all military members and must be received no later than January first, 2013," said Maj. Troy Baker, 779th Medical Group's chief of Allergy and Immunizations Clinic. "If you miss the flu line drive, all active duty military members and eligible beneficiaries can get their shots at their primary care office where they are currently enrolled or the Allergy and Immunizations Clinic. However, there may be longer wait times."

Flu-related illnesses in the United States result in approximately 95 million infections, 25 million doctor visits, 200,000 hospitalizations, and on average 36,000 deaths annually.

The flu shot is considered the best measure against the illness, as the vaccine is updated every year to protect against the newest virus strains.
The timing of flu activity is unpredictable and varies each flu season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. during winter months, but illness can occur at anytime.

"The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that all citizens protect themselves by receiving a flu vaccine as soon as it is available," said Baker.

Anyone can become ill to the flu virus, but there are particular groups who are more vulnerable to the illness.

"Children younger than 5, and adults 65 years of age and older are particularly susceptible to the flu illness," said Baker. "Other high risk individuals include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions such as: asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, kidney disorders, and people with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication use,"

For more information, contact the Allergy and Immunizations Clinic at 240-857-7426.