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Blanchfield administers Flu Vaccine to TRICARE beneficiaries

Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Tuesday, October 4, 2011 @ 10:00 pm In News | No Comments

Blanchfield Army Hospital - Fort Campbell KYFort Campbell, KY – Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) is now prepared to administer the influenza (flu) vaccine to local TRICARE beneficiaries. 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 this severe illness to your family, friends and coworkers,” said acting Preventive Medicine chief Lt. Col. Kirsten Anke. 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.

BACH administered the first shipments of the flu vaccine to active duty service members and is now administering the flu vaccine now to all TRICARE beneficiaries.

“We encourage everyone to get vaccinated annually but it is especially important for the high risk population to receive it now,” said Anke.

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 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.

BACH’s community based medical home clinic, the Screaming Eagle Medical Home, will contact their patients who have selected to participate in the secure messaging by texting when the vaccine is available there. It is expected to be available on or before October 12th. Any patient assigned to the Screaming Eagle Medical Home who wishes to receive the vaccine before then may receive it within the Immunization Clinic.

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, Wednesday and Friday 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 Anke. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause flu that year. The 2011-2012 vaccine helps protect against the three strains, H1N1, Flu A and Flu B, 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 [1].

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

Blue Clinic 8:00am-5:30pm.
Young Eagle 7:30am-5:30pm.
Gold Clinic 7:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm.
Screaming Eagle Medical Home 9:00am-11:30am and 1:00pm-4:00pm (once available)
Immunization Clinic Monday and Wednesday from 7:30am-11:00am and 12:30pm-4:00pm and Friday from 12:30pm-3:00pm. On the first and third Wednesday of each month, the clinic opens at 8:30am.

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[1] www.cdc.gov: http://www.cdc.gov/

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