WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Unlike last flu season, when people needed to get two vaccines (the 2009 H1N1 and the seasonal vaccine), this flu season only the seasonal vaccine is needed.

The 2010-2011 flu vaccine protects against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2010-2011 seasonal vaccine is available.

Vaccination of high-risk people is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness, like health care workers and other people who live with or care for high-risk people, to keep from spreading flu.

Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated, so people who care for them should be vaccinated.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that some groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

High-risk people include those who are deploying; health care providers with direct patient contact; those who work with children less than 6 months of age or high risk patients; pregnant women; those with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease; and people 65 years of age or older.

Getting a flu shot is just part of the protection against the illness. With any strain of flu, basic precautions also help.

Aca,!AcPeople need to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then, throw the tissue in the trash.

Aca,!AcSneeze in a shirt-sleeve and wash your hands often and thoroughly, with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Aca,!AcAvoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, and regularly clean knobs, telephones and items that many people use or touch. Germs spread this way. Also, try to avoid close contact with sick people.

Individuals who choose to receive their vaccinations from a Tricare-authorized provider or through one of the network pharmacies that participate in the vaccination program should call (877) 363-1303 or visit <a href="http://www.express-scripts/tricare">www.express-scripts/tricare</a> for more details and participating pharmacies.

<b><u>Flu shot schedules and locations</u></b>

<b>School Age Children Influenza Program</b>
Aca,!AcMokulele Elementary, Nov. 16, 8:15-11:15 a.m.
Aca,!AcMokapu Elementary, Nov. 18, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Aca,!AcShafter Elementary, Nov. 18, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Aca,!AcWheeler Middle, Nov. 24, 8 a.m.-noon

<b>Flu shots for Beneficiaries</b>
From 9 a.m.-2 p.m at the following exchanges:
Aca,!AcPearl Harbor NEX, Nov. 12
Aca,!AcKaneohe Bay MCX, Nov. 13
Aca,!AcSchofield Barracks PX, Nov. 20

For information about military clinics offering vaccinations, call the Tripler Army Medical Center flu hotline, 808-433-1FLU. To get the latest information about the flu season, visit <a href="http://www.flu.gov">www.flu.gov</a>.

Page last updated Mon November 15th, 2010 at 13:56