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Get Ready to Get Stuck at Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Flu Vaccination Clinic

A little jab will do ya…Naval Hospital Bremerton Command Master Chief James Reynolds receives the influenza vaccination, required for all active duty military personnel, selected Reserves and healthcare workers. Navy Medicine’s seasonal influenza vaccine immunization program is designed to protect Sailors and Marines, mission-essential healthcare personnel, and eligible beneficiaries. NHB will hold the annual influenza vaccination clinic Nov. 1-6, 2018, for uniformed service members, eligible beneficiaries and DoD Civilians who have not been vaccinated this year. The vaccinations will be given at NHB’s Health and Education Center on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, 2850 Thresher Ave, Nov. 1-2 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Nov. 3-4 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Nov. 5-6 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Story by Douglas Stutz
Naval Hospital Bremerton

Naval Hospital Bremerton’s (NHB) Preventive Medicine Department are sticklers when it comes to getting everyone stuck.

Taking a jab towards that goal, the annual influenza vaccination clinic will be held Nov. 1 through Nov. 6, 2018, for uniformed service members, eligible beneficiaries and DoD Civilians who have not been vaccinated this year.

The vaccinations will be given at NHB’s Health and Education Center on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, 2850 Thresher Ave, Nov. 1-2 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Nov. 3-4 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Nov. 5-6 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The vaccine will also be available from NHB’s Immunization Clinic after Nov. 6, 2018, on the second floor of the Family Care Center, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, vaccinations may be received from Family Medicine Home Port teams, and at Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Bangor, BHC Everett, and BHC Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

According to Lt. Rohan Jairam, NHB Environmental Health Officer and Head, Preventive Medicine Department, it’s always important to get an annual flu shot.

“The single best way to protect yourself and your family against seasonal influenza is to get vaccinated each year. People who get their annual flu shot can reduce flu illnesses, and missing work and school due to flu. Everyone ages six months and older should get their vaccine,” said Jairam.

Annual seasonal influenza vaccinations are required for all active duty military personnel, selected Reserves and healthcare workers. Navy Medicine’s seasonal influenza vaccine immunization program is designed to protect Sailors and Marines, mission-essential healthcare personnel, and eligible beneficiaries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that an annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone over six months of age who do not have adverse reactions. Children younger than six months are considered not old enough to receive a flu shot. A vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community. Health care providers should offer vaccination soon after vaccine becomes available and should be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating.

Immunization is the primary method of reducing seasonal influenza illness and helps to lessen any associated complications by enhancing force immunity. The seasonal influenza vaccine helps protect vaccinated individuals, as well as protects entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of the disease.

NHB Preventive Medicine team also advocates other multiple steps that can be done daily to mitigate the potential spread of the flu such as always practicing good hygiene and managing workforce exposure – social distancing, tele-working, sick leave, etc. – as effective methods to reduce the risk of spreading influenza.

The CDC cites that influenza is thought to spread mainly from people touching something with influenza viruses on it and then touching their mouths or noses.
One of the challenging aspects of flu is that someone who becomes infected can infect others one day before they have symptoms and up to five days after becoming sick.
Influenza usually causes mild to severe illness, and uncommonly can lead to death. Symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, chills, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea also can occur but are more common in children than adults.
Traditionally, seasonal flu impacts the elderly and the young.
More information may be obtained at the Flu Hotline, (360) 315-4469.

What can people do to protect themselves against the flu virus?
Naval Hospital Bremerton follows CDC recommendations to:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, when you are sick, and keep your distance from others to protect them from also getting sick.
• If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
• Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his/her eyes, nose or mouth.

General information of seasonal influenza can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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