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Protect yourself from influenza

Col. Tony Douglas, the 96th Test Wing installation vice-commander, receives his influenza vaccine from Tech. Sgt. Georgina Baldwin, of the 96th Medical Operations Squadron, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Oct. 2. The flu shots were administered as part of the 2012/2013 influenza campaign.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie) (Illustration/Randy Gon)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie) (Illustration/Randy Gon)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida --

The mandatory active duty and Reserve mass influenza vaccination line is scheduled for Oct. 11 at the 413th Flight Test Squadron Auditorium, Building 439 on a first-come first-serve basis.

The auditorium is located on the East side of the base on West F Avenue. The flu vaccination lines begin at 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Oct. 11 – 13 and at 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 14.  An additional flu shot line will be available at Building 1417 on Oct. 14 from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in the shared space between the Operations Group and Maintenance break room. All military members must receive their immunizations from a military treatment facility.

According to 96th Medical Group staff the contagious viral infection causes thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year. Flu outbreaks usually happen late in the fall, winter and during early spring. Symptoms vary by individual, but include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle aches and fatigue.

“Getting the flu vaccine is easy, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” says Dr. David Rose, Chief of Immunizations at Eglin Hospital.

TRICARE beneficiaries can get their flu shots at the hospital’s immunization clinic, and primary care clinics without a prescription. Beneficiaries may also get their immunization at a local TRICARE retail network pharmacy without a prescription and no out-of-pocket expense. High dose flu vaccines for persons 65 years and older are available and covered at local TRICARE network pharmacies. A limited supply will also be available at the immunization clinic here.  For additional information about this benefit visit TRICARE Preventative Services . Civilians and contractors should consult their medical plan for benefits.

Children six-months through eight-years-of-age who receive the vaccination for the first time may need two doses to ensure full protection. Also verify the local pharmacy administers the vaccine to children.

“Young children are scared of needles, so prepare your child by telling them it will sting, but only for a few seconds. Encourage them to be brave, and consider a post-shot treat,” said Rose.

Military members and beneficiaries with egg allergies, a previous reaction to the flu vaccine or who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome within six weeks of receiving a flu vaccine should consult their physician before receiving a flu shot.