Seasonal flu vaccinations begin at hospital
September 23, 2011
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Sept. 23, 2011 -- Fort Belvoir Community Hospital launched its 2011-2012 seasonal influenza vaccination campaign Sept. 20, administering vaccinations to medical staff and its beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries of the hospital can get their annual flu immunization at the Sunrise Pavilion, third floor, reception desk 2 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis.
With more than 80,000 doses of the injectable and mist forms of the vaccine, the hospital and its outlying clinics at Woodbridge and Fairfax expect the vaccination process to run smoothly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that, although the 2011-2012 vaccine virus strains are the same as those in last year's vaccines, everyone six months of age and older should receive a flu shot. A person's immune protections from the flu declines over time, so it is important for beneficiaries to get their annual flu shot.
"The flu mist is a weakened form of the live virus," explained Maj. Daniel Mobit, Public Health. "But it won't cause you to get the flu since it is in such a weakened form."
While the influenza season generally occurs from October to May, the CDC recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as vaccines are available in their community. It's best to get vaccinated before December, since this timing ensures protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest.
Every year in the U.S., five to 20 percent of the population gets the flu and about 36,000 people die as a result of flu-related causes. The flu season in the U.S. usually occurs during the winter months; however, cases can occur throughout the year.
The injectable form of the vaccine is for people at high risk -- i.e., those over 49 or have diabetes, asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc. -- and are not eligible for the FluMist. The FluMist is for ages 2-49 with no chronic health problems.
For updates on our flu vaccination program, contact the hospital's flu hotline at 703-805-0506. People can also visit visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BelvoirHospital, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BelvoirHospital.