Installation inoculations available to service members, civilians
After months of preparation, the staff of Dwight D. Eisenhower Army medical Center has begun offering the annual flu vaccine to service members stationed on Fort Gordon. The vaccine has been available since Oct. 21 for hospital staff, and a mass vaccination for installation personnel was held Nov. 6 at Gym 5.
“Mass inoculation events are scheduled later in the calendar year than previous years, due to shipments of flu vaccines that were delayed,” explained Wes Elliott, DDEAMC public affairs officer.
According to Chin Wang, immunization healthcare representative, nearly 10,000 individuals received the vaccine over the course of the day.
“The goal is to have 90 percent of the installation inoculated by Dec. 16,” he said.
However, although the vaccine is mandatory for military personnel, no service member was forced to receive it.
“We don’t force anyone,” Wang said. “ For those uncomfortable with either the mist or the shot, we have providers available to counsel them. If they still do not want to receive the vaccine, then their command is informed.”
The next mass inoculation event will be for beneficiaries, and is scheduled to be held tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Family Medicine Clinic, located on the second floor of DDEAMC. Those unable to attend will be eligible to receive the vaccine on a walk-in basis without an appointment.
“The flu mist will be available for those who are healthy and under 50 years of age,” Elliott said. “The flu shot will be provided for high risk patients and caregivers who are either over 50 years of age, have a weakened immune system, or children six months to five years in age.”