Priority patients, deployed troops receive flu vaccine

Maj. James Stigers
435th Medical Group

KMC immunization teams are now delivering the influenza vaccine to patients and Department of Defense school teachers with high-risk medical issues.

“The KMC influenza control program is progressing rapidly,” said Staff Sgt. Tran Pham, 435th Medical Group Immunization Clinic NCOIC. “Nearly half of the priority medical patients already came in for their shot, and we hope to vaccinate the rest by mid-December.”

The 435th MDG sent notifications to priority medical patients and nearly all eligible patients have been contacted, through KMC Town Hall meetings and the media, said Lt. Col. Brian Ortman, 435th Medical Group Public Health Flight commander.

“We have enough vaccine for the high risk population and encourage those in the risk groups to get their shot as soon as possible,” he said.

Since the medical group is limited to about 15 percent of their flu vaccine, most of the healthy population – active-duty and civilian – will not receive a flu shot.

“Deployed troops are top priority,” said Colonel Ortman. “Next in line are medical high-risk patients who could be severely affected if they get the flu. We also included health-care workers involved in direct patient care.”

In response to this year’s nationwide vaccine shortage, the DOD priority groups match those recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Priority group members, who want the vaccine and have not been contacted by their primary care provider, should contact the medical group now for directions or bring their medical records and ID cards to any DOD immunization clinic in the KMC. Contact a physician or call the immunizations hotline at 479-2533.
Visit the CDC Web site at to learn the specifics on the high-risk groups.