Flu vaccine available in KMC

The 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 Fluzone, the more traditional flu shot for those ages 6 months to 2 years, those older than 49, and for those whom Flumist is not recommended, such as pregnant women, people with asthma or active wheezing, or those with long-term medical conditions.

“Vaccination is your best protection against seasonal influenza,” said Col. Carlheinz Stokes, the Europe Regional Medical Command force health protection officer who manages the ERMC influenza vaccination program. “However, practicing good respiratory etiquette and frequent hand washing will also help curb the spread of influenza as well as many other diseases.”

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 and health fairs will be
made available for the local communities.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to attend one of the mass flu
drives, which are provided as a convenience, and wait times should be shorter.

• LRMC Health Benefits Awareness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Landstuhl Learning Center (Bldg. 3718)

• Sembach Elementary School from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Tiger Tales Theater

• Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the gym/cafeteria

• College Night, beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks

• Kaiserslautern High School from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and 14 in the cafeteria complex  

• KMCC Mall from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 20 and 26 in the food court area near the children’s play area.   

Events are still being planned, so look for more announcements to follow. Note: Ramstein schools will not be visited for vaccination. RES, RMS, and RHS students, as well as the child development centers, should visit the KMCC for a vaccination.
All KMC clinics will have flu vaccine available after Oct. 1. 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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza caused more than 160,000 adult hospitalizations last year alone. 

Because of the high immunization rates, there were only two known hospitalizations in European military communities last season. 

Vaccine and immunization information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines and the Department of Defense MILVAX website at www.vaccines.mil.

For more information, call the Ramstein Immunization Clinic at 479-2549 or 06371-46-2549, the LRMC Allergy & Immunization Clinic at 486-8502 or 06371-86-8502, or the LRMC Pediatric Clinic at 590-5301 or 06371-9464-5301.

(Courtesy of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public Affairs)