Schweinfurt Health Clinic to offer seasonal flu vaccine
Beginning Oct. 1, Schweinfurt beneficiaries can receive the flu vaccination free of charge at the Schweinfurt Health Clinic. Clinic staff will also administer the vaccines at the schools and Child Development Center.

SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Sept. 30, 2013) -- The first of October marks the beginning of Schweinfurt Health Clinic's seasonal flu campaign, just as the weather starts to turn cold.

Washing hands, properly covering your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, and staying home when feeling ill are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of influenza, said the health clinic's chief nurse, Lt. Col. Chad Sekutera, in effort to keep the community healthy throughout the long winter ahead.

The health clinic will also offer at no charge to beneficiaries two types of influenza vaccines, the "flu shot" and the nasal spray vaccine.

The "flu shot" is an inactivated vaccine, which means it contains a killed virus, that is given with a needle usually in the arm. The flu shot is primarily used for people ages 50 and older, pregnant women and people older than 6 months with chronic medical conditions.

The nasal-spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. It is sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine," or FluMist®. FluMist® is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

As in previous years, Department of Defense schools and Child and Youth Services daycare centers will require students and staff members to be in immunized. The clinic will set up a vaccination station at both schools and the Child Development Center during the month of October. Packets and authorization forms will be sent home to parents.

Parents seeking a waiver should contact the school's nurse, said Col. Chad Bowers, the commander of the clinic, at a town hall held Sept. 17. Contact the elementary school at 09721-96-6734/6518 or DSN 354-6734/6518 or the middle/high school at 09721-804-301 or DSN 354-6812/6813.

"We really want to make this process as easy as possible for the parent, which is why we are setting up a remote immunization station at the school. But it's very important that we receive the authorization paperwork. Without the parent approval, we won't be able to immunize their child," said Sekutera.

"The initial mass vaccinations will be for the Active Duty service members stationed in Schweinfurt but we encourage all our beneficiaries to request the flu immunization with their scheduled appointments," said Sekutera.

To receive your vaccine, contact or visit the health clinic. The clinic will be open for walk-ins beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1 with the following hours of operation:

• Monday through Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
• Friday: 8 to 11 a.m.

While it is important for everyone to receive the flu immunization, it is especially important for infants, pregnant women, adults 50 years and older, and people with chronic medical conditions, said Sekutera.

"Let's keep the community as healthy as possible during our last winter in Schweinfurt. Stop by the health clinic and get an influenza vaccine," said Sekutera.

Page last updated Mon September 30th, 2013 at 05:09