Medical professionals urge flu vaccination, giving blood
By Todd Pruden, Fort Hood Public AffairsSeptember 23, 2020
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still looming around us, it does not mean other well-being actions should be put on the back burner.Since it’s that time of year, health officials are urging all to receive the seasonal flu vaccination if they are able to do so.“I think more now than ever, you want to protect yourself from COVID-19. We’re taking all these precautions,” Capt. Jessica Campion, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Army Public Health nurse, said. “But as the flu season hits, we don’t want more sick people in the community. So we can do that by protecting ourselves and getting the flu vaccine. We’re really trying to protect the community against both viruses.”Campion wants to assure everyone that once the flu vaccines arrive and are ready for administration that the installation will take the proper protocols to ensure best practices to follow proper COVID-19 safety precautions.“To lay their fears of coming in contact with the coronavirus … we are making those provisions to ensure that they’re social distanced and can still get their flu vaccines safely,” Lt. Col. Benita Harris, CRDAMC chief Army Public Health nurse, said. “We’re going to make provisions to social distance as best that we can at the location that we have.”Another well-being action health professionals urge the community to help out with is blood donations. According to Spc. Patrick Jones, lead tech in the Apheresis Section at Fort Hood's Robertson Blood Center, the facility has a shortage of all blood types due to current circumstances, but there are critical needs.“Right now, honestly, we’re seeing a system wide shortage of O pos, O neg,” he said. “And we always need AB plasma.”Lt. Col. Jennifer Marin, director of the Fort Hood blood center is asking the community to help out and to donate and said things don’t just go into a pause mode due to a crisis.“If anybody wants to give back right now, if you want to be a part of something, donate blood now, donate plasma now because we need it,” she said. “We need it because of pandemic. We need it because the world is still happening even though we have a pandemic. That hasn’t stopped everything else that’s going on, car accidents, surgeries. So, the need is still there. And even more today because we have less donors that are coming in because of the pandemic. We need that more.”To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program, go to https://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/.