Ireland Army Community Hospital
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VIEW OUR COMMAND PHILOSOPHY

FLU / INFLUENZA PREVENTION

Influenza
IACH Hotline
Call the Flu Hotline 24 Hours a Day at (502) 624-0554

Official SF600 Must be completed and brought to the Vaccination Clinic

Remember, Proper Hand Washing is the BEST way to reduce your risk of being infected with the flu.

VISIT OUR FLU INFORMATION CENTER
JUST CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW
Some Beneficiaries are at a Higher Risk
While it's recommended that all beneficiaries get the Flu vaccine, for the following groups are at a higher risk:
  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • Everyone between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old.
  • People ages 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems
  • Older people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma or HIV.

Or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Seasonal Influenza (FLU) website by clicking here.

General Questions

1) How effective is influenza immunization in protecting me from illness caused by the different strains of "flu"?

In years when the vaccine strains and the circulating virus strains are well-matched, immunization of healthy adults is 70%-90% effective in preventing influenza illness. Vaccines may be somewhat less effective in elderly persons and very young children, but immunization can still help prevent serious complications from influenza illness.

2) What influenza vaccines are available this year?

DoD has contracted with the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia to obtain influenza vaccine from four different manufacturers. Two different delivery forms are available. The injectable vaccines are: Fluzone, Fluarix, and Flulaval. FluMist is an intranasal form of the vaccine. All are FDA-approved vaccines, and should be stored in the refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

3) How much vaccine is available for the military this year?

For the 2010-2011 influenza season, The Army has contracted for 1.97 Million doses of the influenza vaccine.  This vaccine supply is projected to adequately meet the needs of the Army.  For this influenza season, manufacturers of the injectable vaccine will deliver more vaccine to the Defense Logistics Agency, Troop Support (formerly known as Defense Supply Center Philadelphia) in a shorter time frame, compared to previous seasons.

4) What if Iím pregnant or breast feeding? Can I still get vaccinated against the flu?

Yes. Pregnant women, as well as lactating women and their newborn babies, are all at risk for influenza complications. The CDCís Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have all recommended the routine vaccination of women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during influenza season, with injectable vaccine. ACIP states that pregnant or lactating women do not need to avoid contact with persons recently vaccinated with intranasal vaccine.

5) Are influenza vaccines harmful during my pregnancy?

All influenza products are labeled as Pregnancy category C which means that animal reproduction studies have not been conducted and it is not known whether or not influenza vaccine can cause fetal harm or effect reproductive capacity. Package inserts go on to state that influenza vaccines should only be given when clearly needed. ACIP recommends the use of injectable influenza vaccine for immunization of pregnant women because the benefit outweighs the risk of any adverse events. This year's ACIP recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza describe studies that were used to make this recommendation. See

Myths and Facts

1) Myth: People do not die from the flu.

Fact: Influenza (flu) is a highly infectious disease and can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 220,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die because of the flu. Most who die are 65 years and older. Children less than 2 years old are as likely as those over 65 to be hospitalized because of an influenza infection.

2) Myth: Side effects from the influenza vaccine are worse than the flu itself.

Fact: The worst side effect you are likely to experience with the injectable influenza vaccine is a sore arm. The risk of a rare allergic reaction is far less than the risk of severe complications from influenza.

3) Myth: Even if I get the influenza vaccine, I can still get the flu.

Fact: The influenza vaccine protects most people from the flu. Sometimes a person who receives influenza vaccine, develops influenza illness, but is less sick than without the immunization. Influenza vaccine will not protect you from other viruses that sometimes feel like the flu.

4) Myth: Only older people really need the influenza vaccine.

Fact: Adults and children with conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease are at risk for developing life-threatening complications from an influenza infection. Everyone who is healthy and eligible to receive the vaccine should take advantage to the opportunity to boost their immunity to the flu.

5) Myth: You must get the influenza vaccine during influenza season, or itís not worth getting.

Fact: Influenza vaccine can be given before or during the flu season. While the best time to get influenza vaccine is in October or November, getting immunized in December or later can still protect you against the flu.

6) Myth: I can take medications prescribed by my doctor instead of getting the influenza vaccine.

Fact: Antiviral medications given within in the first few days of symptom onset can reduce the duration and severity of the disease, but cannot cure it. These drugs are not a substitute for influenza immunization.

7) Myth: Having the influenza is similar to getting a cold; therefore a immunization is not really necessary.

Fact: Influenza is a serious disease, and people of any age are susceptible. In an average year, influenza disease and its complications cause 36,000 deaths and 220,000 hospitalizations in the United States. An annual influenza vaccination is the best way to reduce the chances that you will become infected with the influenza virus.

Adapted from the Immunization Action Coalition (with permission) and the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Military Vaccine Agency.

Ireland Army Community Hospital