Fort Benning announces flu shot schedule - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning announces flu shot schedule

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Fort Benning, GA

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 22 October 2010

Fort Benning, Ga – Martin Army Community Hospital announces 2010-2011 Influenza Schedule.

Flu activity in the United States and at Fort Benning is low now, making this the best time to get a flu vaccine to prevent catching the flu.

"At the beginning of the month, we began immunizing our Active Duty Soldiers, high risk patients and Fort Benning medical personnel with the new one dose influenza immunization that includes both the H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccine, said Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) R. Jason Newsom, Chief, Preventive Medicine for MACH. To date we have issued over 10,000 doses on Fort Benning," he added. All people 6 months and older are now recommended to receive annual influenza vaccination. This is a new and expanded recommendation for this season. In February, 2010, the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of "universal" influenza vaccination in the United States to protect as many people as possible against the flu. There is one exception to this: CDC recommends that children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who have never received a seasonal flu vaccine get two doses of vaccine spaced at least 4 weeks apart.

• Two doses given at least 4 weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time. Children who only got 1 dose in their first year of vaccination should get 2 doses the following year.

• All children 6 months up through 8 years of age getting a flu vaccine for the first time need two doses, at least 4 weeks apart, the first year they are vaccinated in order to develop immune protection. This includes children who received one or two doses of the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, but who have never received a seasonal flu vaccine.

What viruses will this season's vaccine protect against? The flu vaccine is updated every year to combat the flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to cause illness during the upcoming season. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine is being made in the same way as seasonal vaccines have been made for decades. It will protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus). About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.

"Even people that got vaccinated with the 2009 H1N1 vaccine or last year's seasonal vaccine need to be vaccinated with the flu seasonal vaccine this year. This season's vaccine provides protection against other influenza strains that were not in either the seasonal or the 2009 H1N1 vaccine last season and besides, immunity from a vaccine gotten last year may decline over times," said Major Renee Busse, Chief, Public Health Nursing.

The MACH Flu Clinic located at the Adult Primary Care Clinic, Building 9214, 6635 Bass Road, behind the hospital, opens on 1 Nov and will be open for the first two weeks of November, excluding 11 and 12 Nov, (Veteran's Day holiday closures), 0800-1530, Monday-Friday. More information can be obtained by calling the MACH Flu Hotline, 706-545-8039, the CARE Line, 706-544-2273, or visiting MACH web page at www.martin.amedd.army.mil

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