Flu vaccine available in KMC

Flu vaccine has arrived in the KMC, and Army and Air Force medical officials have developed plans for all service members and civilians to receive their vaccination.

The available vaccines include the intranasal FluMist for beneficiaries between the ages of 2 and 49, and Afluria, the more traditional flu shot. Afluria is for those ages 9 and up, those older than 49, and those for whom FluMist is not recommended, such as pregnant women or people with asthma, active wheezing or other long-term medical conditions. Clinics will have Fluzone available for children 6 months through 9 years old for whom FluMist or Afluria are not recommended, such as those children who are immune compromised, have a severe allergic reaction to a FluMist component, are on concomitant aspirin therapy or have had Guillain-Barre syndrome, asthma, or recurrent or active wheezing.

For many, annual vaccination is a requirement and not a recommendation. This includes all military service members, most health care workers, school age children, as well as child care facility employees and attendees.

A robust schedule of planned mass flu drives will be made available for local communities at locations listed below. Beneficiaries are encouraged to attend one of the mass flu drives, which are provided as a convenience, and wait times should be shorter. A documentation card will be provided to beneficiaries receiving their immunization at locations other than a military treatment facility.

Medical officials ask beneficiaries to keep their documentation card until their information has been downloaded into their electronic medical records.

Visit one of these upcoming flu drives:

• Thursday, 6 to 8:30 p.m., College Night at Rhine Ordnance Barracks

• Oct. 11, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Heaton Auditorium

• Oct. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., LRMC Heaton Auditorium

• Oct. 15, 3 to 5:30 p.m., Tiger Tales Theater on Sembach

• Oct. 16, 2 to 6 p.m., Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School gym/cafeteria

• Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., community town hall meeting at Armstrong’s Club on Vogelweh Housing (Bldg. 1036)

• Oct. 19 and 22, 2 to 6 p.m., Kaiserslautern High School cafeteria complex

• Oct. 23 to 25, 4 to 7 p.m., food court near the children’s play area

• Oct. 30, 2 to 6 p.m., Vogelweh Elementary School gym

Events are still being planned, so look for more announcements to follow. Note: Ramstein Air Base schools will not be visited for vaccination. Students of Ramstein elementary, middle and high school and child development centers should visit the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center for vaccination.

All KMC clinics will have flu vaccine available once the mass flu drive campaign begins. Be sure to check vaccine availability and clinic hours before visiting any of the KMC clinics.

The flu season in Europe routinely continues through April with the greatest number of cases occurring in January, according to U.S. Army Public Health Command-Europe.

Vaccine and immunization information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines and the Department of Defense MILVAX website at www.vaccines.mil. For more information, you can also call the Ramstein Immunization Clinic at 479-2549 or 06371-46-2549, the LRMC Allergy and Immunization Clinic at 486-8502 or 06371-86-8502, or the Kleber Army Health Clinic at 483-8963 or 0631-4118963.

(Courtesy of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public Affairs)