Officials at Ireland Army Health Clinic are warning the Fort Knox community of the coming flu season and advising personnel to plan vaccinations early to avoid spreading the infectious bug.
"We recommend getting the flu vaccination as early as possible," said Capt. Shantyl Galloway, an Army public health nurse with the health clinic. "There's still a chance that you'll catch the flu, but the chances of you being hospitalized or needing antiviral treatments are decreased, and the severity of your symptoms will be less."
Galloway said the notion that the flu vaccination causes the flu is false, though it persists.
"A lot of people have the misperception that the flu shot made them sick, but chances are that if they do actually get the flu, they got the virus prior to getting the vaccine," said Galloway. "You may feel groggy for a couple of days after getting the vaccine, and it takes the vaccine a couple of weeks to build up the antibodies to fight off the actual virus.
"If you get the flu after you've had the vaccine, the symptoms will be much milder."
She said avoiding the vaccine could affect the readiness of the entire Fort Knox workforce.
"We all have a mission, and if you're out sick for one or two weeks, that tremendously affects the readiness of your office's mission," Galloway said. "You can multiply that by how many others you get sick at your office or other offices."