Over the course of the past few months the subject of articles written by the Public Health flight have primarily consisted of methods to prevent getting the flu, ways to recover from the flu, and statistics and other facts about the flu. Hopefully, it's apparent at this point that the recommendation is to get vaccinated against the flu. The Public Health flight also wants you to know the flu is not the only disease which is preventable through vaccination.
Although, there is no "one- size-fits-all" vaccine protocol; it can be dependent upon age, occupation, location of travel and other factors which can determine your potential for exposure. The basic recommended protocol for children and adults is be vaccinated against: tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap), Poliomyelitis (Polio), Varicella, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A and B, and Influenza (Flu).
Some vaccines will require a booster, for example tetanus needs to be re-administered at least every 10 years in order to maintain an effective level of protection. Other vaccines, such as the flu shot, are given annually. This is because the infective characteristics of the virus can change and therefore the vaccine needs to be adapted. And there are still other vaccines which are only administered once in a lifetime (unless there is a change in your level of risk).
If you are unsure of your immunization status or simply want more information on which vaccines are recommended for you personally, check with your primary care physician. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control vaccines and immunizations Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/.
For additional information, please contact the 75th Medical Group Public Health Office at (801) 586-9665.
Beginning March 1, all Air Force active duty personnel who have not received the novel H1N1 vaccination will turn IMR "red" in PIMR, and will not show as medically cleared to deploy.
H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccinations are mandatory for all active duty and available for Tri-Care beneficiaries. Vaccines are available at the 75th MDG Immunization Clinic. Call (801) 777-5209 for specific hours of operation.