FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. –
In the upcoming influenza season, ditching the handshake for a smart salute or an elbow nudge is a great idea. Even “la bise,” the French greeting where two people exchange light kisses on the cheek, will have to go for now to decrease the spread of the flu. Prevention is the key!
The single best prevention available for everyone six months of age and older is an annual flu vaccine. Yearly vaccination is necessary because the flu vaccine you received last year can’t be counted on to protect you from the flu this year.
This year, Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center is providing the flu vaccine to active duty, retirees and family members who are TRICARE beneficiaries (not prime to US Family Health Plan). Dates for flu drives are scheduled to be announced later this month.
If you have not received care at Kimbrough since the implementation of MHS GENESIS, it is highly encouraged you complete a registration form to minimize delays and lessen your wait at the flu drive. Forms can be found at https://kimbrough.tricare.mil/flu. Completed forms can be dropped off at the information desk, next to the Main Pharmacy.
There will likely be a concurrent viral activity of influenza and COVID-19 during the 2023-2024 influenza season. In this context, flu vaccination will be crucial to help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and lessen impact on the health care system.
The Department of Defense continues to protect the health and readiness of our Force, our Families, and our communities. Family members, beneficiaries, and civilian employees are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine to maximize health protection. Vaccination is an important step in protecting against the flu and its potentially serious complications.
It is also important to continue to prevent the spread of disease by exercising similar healthy habits that are encouraged with COVID-19 such as staying home and away from groups of people when you are sick, covering coughs, sanitizing & washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
For more information about seasonal flu, please talk to your health care provider or visit the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s flu website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.