FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Blanchfield Army Community Hospital will open a temporary flu vaccine clinic for three weeks where beneficiaries may receive their annual influenza shot.

The temporary clinic will be open Oct. 22 to Nov. 9, Monday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Bldg. 207 on Bastogne Ave., next to Bank of America. All TRICARE beneficiaries may stop-by to receive the vaccine without an appointment with no out-of pocket expense.

"We encourage everyone to take advantage of receiving the vaccine which can help prevent or lessen the severity of flu. For individuals to receive the most protection in this region, we recommended our beneficiaries get the vaccine between October and December," said Deputy Chief of BACH Preventive Medicine, Maj. Simone Edwards. "By opening a walk-in flu vaccine clinic we hope to provide easier access to individuals who do not want to make a special doctor's appointment whether they are seen by a provider on or off post. We hope our eligible population takes advantage of this free benefit."

BACH's preventive medicine team will operate the walk-in flu vaccine clinic available to all TRICARE beneficiaries six months or older, including Soldiers, Retirees and Family members with a military ID card.

BACH's Patient care teams will also offer the flu vaccine to families within the hospital's patient centered medical homes later this month, by request, during scheduled appointments.

Once additional vaccine shipments arrive, patients enrolled to any of the BACH medical homes, including Air Assault, Young Eagle, Gold, Byrd Soldier and Family, LaPointe Soldier, Campbell Army Airfield, and Screaming Eagle Medical Homes, may also receive the vaccine without an appointment during walk-in hours within their assigned medical home. These beneficiaries may also use the temporary walk-in flu vaccine clinic.

Beneficiaries Assigned to Providers Outside of BACH

TRCIARE patients assigned to a network primary care provider off post who choose not to attend the walk-in clinic at Bldg. 207, may ask to receive the flu vaccine from their assigned primary care manager. If their assigned healthcare provider does not offer the flu vaccine as a TRICARE-covered benefit, patients may receive the influenza vaccine with no copayment at participating retail network pharmacies. To find a participating pharmacy, visit https://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy/findpharmacy.shtml or call 1-877-363-1303.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu seasons are unpredictable and have the potential to impact Department of Defense force readiness and mission.

In the United States, influenza results in more than 40 million reported cases, more than 750,000 hospitalizations due to serious complications, and up to 50,000 deaths annually. Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its complications. Special efforts should be made to vaccinate those at high risk from influenza complications to include pregnant women, children under five years of age, adults 65 years and older and those with certain medical conditions.

As a standard safety precaution, people can also avoid or reduce the chance getting or spreading the flu virus by washing their hands regularly and covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue or in their sleeve, instead of into their hands.

Walk-in hours for BACH medical homes are available at http://blanchfield.amedd.army.mil/HealthcareServices/SitePages/WalkinServices.aspx