This won’t hurt a bit
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)
Flu shots now available for Eglin military, civilians



96th Medical Group

10/3/2012 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Influenza (flu) vaccine is now available at the Eglin immunization clinic and Eglin primary care clinics during regular operating hours.

Immunization is the key to seasonal influenza prevention and is recommended for everyone six months old and older. There are two ways to receive the influenza vaccine: the 'flu shot' and the nasal-spray flu vaccine or 'flu mist.' Both are equally effective.

A mass influenza vaccination line for active duty service members and Air Force Materiel Command civilian government employees is scheduled for Oct. 22-26 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the 9th Special Operations Squadron auditorium, on a first-come first-served basis. The auditorium is located on West F Avenue, across from the library on the east side of the base.

The influenza vaccine is mandatory for active duty and reserve military members. Other Tricare beneficiaries (dependents and retirees) can receive the flu vaccine without a prescription and with no out-of-pocket expense at Tricare retail network pharmacies. This coverage is available to all Tricare beneficiaries eligible to use the Tricare retail pharmacy benefit.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to call their local Tricare retail network pharmacy to ensure availability and participation in the vaccine program and that the pharmacy will administer vaccine to children, if needed.

People who have a severe egg allergy, have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination, and people who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine, should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician.

The influenza vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year.

Influenza season typically begins in November and runs through March/April with the season peaking in February. The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus.

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent getting ill. If flu germs get on your hands, you can infect yourself by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Hand washing when you are ill, will also help protect others. The flu virus can also be passed via coughs or sneezing and people with flu can contaminate doorknobs, telephones, or faucets. It's especially important to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing then wash your hands well.

Other important preventive health practices include a healthy diet; sleeping well; exercising regularly and reducing stress. Smoking can cause damage that may increase your risk of getting a serious case of flu.