By Rodney Jackson, CRDAMC Public Affairs
FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Army Public Health Nursing team, hospital staff and volunteers provided 285 Tricare eligible beneficiaries their flu shot during its annual Influenza vaccination event Dec. 2.
The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended every year for everyone 6 months of age and older with rare exception, according to the CDC. People at high risk for influenza complications include infants, young children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, nursing home or long-term care facility residents, and those with underlying health conditions.
“Getting the flu shot helps increase the overall protection in the community,” said Maj. Theresa Suggs, Army public health nursing chief, CRDAMC. “The more people we get vaccinated the less likely individuals are to spread the virus to other people, in addition if they do attract the virus it’s less severe, which means they are less likely to visit the emergency room, make an appointment or even be hospitalized.”
The event began in the early morning hours and went to 1 p.m., allowing beneficiaries time to get up and out to begin the weekend.
“We actually appreciate this event,” said Linh Sengmany, spouse of Cpt. Eric Sengmany, 504 MI Bde. “It helps make it easier during the weekends, because my husband and I can bring our kids together.”
It’s not easy making appointments for children, she added.
Soldiers and hospital staff look forward and volunteer for events like this to serve the surrounding community.
It helps the community to get to come out to events like this and actually get to see our faces,” said Sgt. Jose Andicoechea, combat medic. “It helps make that connection that we are here to help, because they hear about us, but don’t see us all the time, so sometimes they may forget that we are here for them.”
If you missed the event don’t worry, eligible Tricare beneficiaries may also obtain a ﬂu shot at a TRICARE-authorized pharmacy or in a network urgent care clinic. Beneﬁciaries are encouraged to check the policies and procedures of their preferred pharmacy prior to obtaining the vaccine. Some pharmacies require a prescription for children under 7 years old and may not provide ﬂu shots to children under 4 years old. In such cases, parents can obtain a prescription from their primary care manager, visit a TRICARE network urgent care clinic, walk in to the CRDAMC pediatric clinic or attend any community or pediatric ﬂu shot event.
Maj. Rodney Merkley, behavioral health deputy, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and family check in to receive the flu vaccination at CRDAMCs annual flu vaccination event Dec. 2.