Posted: Monday, 17 September 2012 5:14PM
Blanchfield Administers Flu Vaccine To TRICARE Beneficiaries
FT CAMPBELL, Ky – Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) is now prepared to administer the influenza (flu) vaccine to local TRICARE beneficiaries starting Sept. 17. Hospital staff members will determine whether the nasal spray or shot form of the vaccine is appropriate for each patient based on their age and medical history.
“Getting vaccinated provides the best protection against the flu and keeps you from spreading the illness to your family, friends and coworkers,” said Preventive Medicine chief Lt. Col. Amy Blank. People can also avoid getting or spreading the flu virus by washing their hands regularly and covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue or their sleeve, instead of into their hands.
“We encourage everyone to get vaccinated annually but it is especially important for the high risk population to receive it now,” said Blank.
The high risk population includes healthcare workers, young children, caregivers of children 6 months or younger, pregnant women and individuals who have chronic health conditions or are 50 years of age and older.
Patients Assigned to BACH
Patients assigned to a primary care provider at BACH or any of the outlying clinics to include Byrd Health Clinic or Screaming Eagle Medical Home may receive the flu vaccine within their assigned clinic Monday through Friday on a walk-in basis during the hours listed below. No appointment is necessary, however patients may ask for the vaccine during a regularly scheduled appointment.
Patients Assigned to Provider Outside of BACH
Patients assigned to a network primary care provider (off post) should ask to receive the flu vaccine from their assigned provider. If your assigned healthcare provider does not offer the flu vaccine, patients 36 months and older may receive the vaccine in BACH’s Immunization Clinic on a walk-in basis Monday and Wednesday during the hours listed below. Parents with a child under the age of 36 months who receive care in the network may contact the Young Eagle Clinic at 931-431-4677 to speak with an advice nurse for more information.
Annual Vaccination Important
“It is important to get vaccinated every year because flu viruses are constantly changing,” said Blank. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause flu that year. The 2012-2013 vaccine helps protect against the three strains, H1N1, Flu A (H3N2) and Flu B (Wisconsin), that the World Health Organization anticipates being most likely to spread during the upcoming flu season.
Some children 6 months to 8 years old may be advised to receive two doses of the flu vaccine, at least four weeks apart. A healthcare provider can help you determine if your child requires a second dose.
About the Flu
The flu virus attacks the lungs and can cause body aches, sore throat, coughing, headache, fever and nasal congestion or drainage. For a more complete list of flu symptoms, please visit the Center for Disease Control online at www.cdc.gov.
The flu itself is not usually dangerous, but its complications can be. For some people it can be very serious and even fatal. The people who may suffer the most serious effects are pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people who currently have health problems.
The flu virus can be in the body’s system before symptoms begin. This means people who do not feel sick can easily spread the virus to others. According to the Center for Disease Control, people can spread the flu to others up to one week after becoming ill themselves.
Walk-in Flu Vaccine Availability Hours (Monday through Friday)
Blue Clinic: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 - 3:30 p.m. (1st Thursday and 3rd Tuesday each month: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
Byrd Clinic: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 - 3:30 p.m. (only for family members enrolled to the family care team)
Young Eagle: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 - 3:30 p.m. (2nd and 4th Thursday each month: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
Gold Clinic: 8 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Screaming Eagle Medical Home: 9 - 11:30 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Immunization Clinic will offer walk-in services Mondays and Wednesdays 7:30 - 11 a.m. and 12:30 - 4 p.m.