Flu vaccine events scheduled for KMC

Flu vaccine events are being held at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center during the month of October, 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 healthy beneficiaries between the ages of 2 and 49 and multiple formulations of the injectable vaccine for the pediatric population.

At community events, beneficiaries must be 4 or older. Those younger than 4 should receive their vaccination at their Military Treatment Facility Immunization Clinic. Also, those who are allergic to eggs will not be able to receive their vaccine at a community event and should see their primary care provider.

For many, annual vaccination is a requirement and not a recommendation. This includes military service members, health care workers, school age children, as well as child care facility employees and attendees. These people should receive information from their unit or organization for guidance on when and where they will receive their vaccination.

Both military and civilian beneficiaries are encouraged to attend one of these events, which are provided as a convenience; wait times should be shorter than those expected at KMC immunization clinics.

A robust schedule of planned flu vaccine community events will be made available for local communities at locations listed below.

• Monday, 2 to 5 p.m., Ramstein Health & Wellness Center

• Tuesday, 2 to 5 p.m., Ramstein HAWC

• Wednesday, 8 to 11 a.m., Ramstein HAWC

• Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Heaton Auditorium, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

• Thursday, 2 to 7 p.m., Kaiserslautern school complex

• Oct. 10, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kaisers-lautern Military Community Center

• Oct. 14, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Heaton Auditorium, LRMC

• Oct. 15, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School

• Oct. 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Rhine Ordnance Barracks Red Ribbon Run event

• Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Heaton Auditorium PT Month Health Fair, LRMC

• Oct. 22, 2:30 to 5 p.m., Sembach Elementary/Middle School

• Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., KMCC

• Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., KMCC

• Nov. 6, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Heaton Auditorium, LRMC

It is estimated that each year in the U.S. an average of 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe.

Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the U.S. ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some people, such as the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions, are at risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.
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 CDC website www.cdc.gov/vaccines and the Department of Defense Military Vaccine Agency website at www.vaccines.mil.

For more information, you can also contact the following local clinics:

• Ramstein Immunization Clinic, 479-2549 or 06371-46-2549

• LRMC Allergy & Immunization Clinic, 590-5816 or 06371-9464-5816

• Kleber Army Health Clinic, 590-2615 or 06371-9464-2615