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Mass Immunization Exercise Completed at NSA Naples

Story by Christina Clarke
Naval Hospital – Naples

As flu season approaches, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples continues to be mission-ready. Last week, 90 percent of the active duty population received their influenza vaccine during the mass immunization exercise. The week-long drill was meant to simulate a public health crisis that would require rapid inoculation of military personnel.

“In the event of a public health emergency, our team would need to distribute medicine and supplies as quickly as possible. The annual flu vaccine allows us to practice such a scenario,” says Commander Misty Scheel, Director of Public Health. “Our goal is always to maintain a medically-ready force and a ready medical force.”

Each year, NSA Naples receives the influenza vaccine and U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Naples staff must vaccinate 90 percent of the active duty population within 120 hours of receipt in support of Commander USEUCOM (CDRUSEUCOM) initiatives.

“Similar to how we cannot predict when a pandemic will occur, the arrival of the flu vaccine is also a bit of a moving target,” says Scheel. “The fall season is always busy but if anything that helps us stress our capabilities and practice how we would respond to a real pandemic.”

The exercise met its metric thanks in large part to many coordinated efforts from Naval Support Activity Naples, American Red Cross volunteers, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet and Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia. The Preventive Medicine department at USNH Naples will hold shot exercises at various locations in the coming weeks for all beneficiaries.

If you are an active duty service member who did not receive the flu vaccine last week, visit the Immunization Clinics at either the Capodichino Branch Health Clinic or Support Site Hospital as a walk-in. All other beneficiaries can either walk-in to the Support Site Hospital or attend a beneficiary shot exercise. For the full schedule of beneficiary shot exercises follow U.S. Naval Hospital Naples on Facebook.

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