Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Gulfport Base Starts Giving Flu Shots for 2017

Story by A. Danielle Thomas

Joint Force Headquarters – Mississippi

The CRTC-Battlefield Airmen Center aims to have hundreds of Airmen vaccinated against Influenza before the year’s end. The CRTC-BAC Medical Facility provides medical readiness support for members of the CRTC, 255th Air Control Squadron, and the 209th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron.
Medical Facility non-commissioned officer in charge, Master Sgt. Lisa Oliver says the first shipments of the flu vaccine have arrived and preparations to administer injections are underway. Oliver says because seasonal Influenza is highly contagious, the Department of Defense mandates military personnel in all branches receive the vaccine. For the CRTC-BAC, that means approximately 322 Airmen will need to roll up their sleeves.
“Our plan is to have a mass vaccination line where we will have units scheduled during their Unit Training Assembly. Either medical staff will go to that unit or we will have the unit come to the medical facility,” said Oliver. “Our goal is to have everyone vaccinated by the 15th of December.”
The medical staff routinely asks military members a series of questions before administering injections. The health screenings determine who may need to delay or be exempted from receiving a flu shot because they are already experiencing flu-like symptoms, have a suppressed immune system, or have other medical concerns.
“For women who are pregnant or who are possibly pregnant, the Air National Guard requires they consult with their primary care physician to determine if they should get the vaccine,” said Oliver.
Along with the shot, Guardsmen get handouts explaining why they were vaccinated, signs and symptoms of an allergic experience, and what to do if they have a severe reaction. The entire process from beginning to end takes about five minutes, and that time helps to prevent future military staffing headaches.
“Since Influenza spreads so easily, it can take five to 20 percent of your personnel away from their duties,” Oliver said. “If that happens, you don’t have a mission ready unit, and you can’t perform your daily work tasks as effectively.”
Master Sgt. Kiersten Stephens supports having her and her fellow Guardsmen take the Flu shot. She works in Airfield Management which a small department at the CRTC-BAC.
“If you lose just one person in my office, you’re mission critical status,” said, Stephens. “I believe overall that when you are working around a large group of people, you need to be vaccinated. You can’t have the entire force come down with the flu and expect to be successful.“
Guardsmen have the option to be vaccinated by their primary care physician or at a drug store as long as they provide proper documentation to the military. The CRTC-BAC medical staff also encourages Airmen to seek vaccinations for their family members, especially the elderly and young children, both of whom are considered high risk.
Other DOD mandated vaccines include Measles, Mumps, & Rubella, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Whooping Cough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *