Lyster gears up for influenza season.The 2020-2021 flu season is upon us and Lyster Army Health Clinic plans to execute the 2020 Influenza Vaccination Campaign from October 13 to December 18, to protect individuals from influenza, its complications, and to prevent the potential spreading of the disease.Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season. Manufacturers have already begun distributing flu vaccine and will continue to distribute vaccine throughout the season. CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you.Each year, the flu vaccines are delivered in incremental shipments by age group, which dictates who and when vaccinations are rendered. The schedule is dependent of the vaccine arriving on time to distribute. Lyster’s goal is to ensure all Soldiers are vaccinated before the start of exodus leave in December.Lyster Flu Vaccine Schedule (pending vaccine arrival): Ages 6 months to 35 months: October 13 to October 30 by appointment onlyAdults over 65 enrolled to a PCM at Lyster: Dates to be determined based on arrival of vaccine by appointment only.Unit vaccinations: November 23 to December 5 (excluding Nov 26-29)Ages 3-64 years: Tentative December 7-18. Dates to be determined based on arrival of vaccine by appointment only.                                                                            Area pharmacies off post may receive the flu vaccines before your local Military Treatment Facility. If you choose to get your vaccine off post, be sure to update your medical records at Lyster. With the COVID-19 pandemic still prominent in the area, persons are encouraged to get their flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available for your age group. It takes the body about two weeks to build antibodies against the influenza virus after vaccination, which is why getting the flu shot early is ideal.“While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people 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,” said Maj. Dorma Sanders, Chief of the Fort Rucker Department of Public Health at Lyster.Those at higher risk for complications from influenza include people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, children younger than five years old and adults age 65 and older.Taking the necessary steps to prevent or stop the spread of the flu include washing hands often with soap and water or using anti-bacterial gel when soap and water is not available, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, covering your cough or sneeze, and staying home when sick.To stay up to date on flu vaccine availability, be sure to check LAHC’s website and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LysterArmyHealthClinic/.Beneficiaries may schedule medical appointments at Lyster Army Health Clinic by calling the Lyster Central Appointment Line at 800-261-7193 between the hours of 0700 and 1600, Monday through Friday. You may also use the internet and schedule appointments 24/7 by logging onto www.tricareonline.com.