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Taking a shot at influenza: Vaccinations available in Oct. and Nov. at McGill

Soundoff! - 10/5/2017

Oct. 04--Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center kicked off the fall season with its annual flu-prevention vaccine campaign on Sept. 28 at Club Meade.

Dozens of people came out to protect themselves from influenza by getting vaccinated.

Lt. Kerri Thornton, a Public Health nurse at Kimbrough, and Kenneth Johnson of Occupational Health at Medical Department Activity administered the vaccines.

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard was among those who received a flu shot.

"Flu prevention is very important," Rickard said. "This helps my community stay healthy."

The flu is a contagious illness caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can cause mild to severe illness and even death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000.

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated annually. Other preventive measures include practicing good hand-washing often, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, staying home when you are sick, and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.

The free vaccinations are available to all active-duty service members, DoD civilians and TRICARE beneficiaries, ages 3 and older, who are assigned to military treatment facilities.

"Flu prevention is a core function of military readiness," said Col. Beverly Maliner, chief of Preventive Medicine at Kimbrough. "We're trying to get as much of the community vaccinated as we can."

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(c)2017 the Soundoff! (Laurel, Md.)

Visit the Soundoff! (Laurel, Md.) at www.ftmeadesoundoff.com

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