FALLS CHURCH, Va. – An annual tradition continued on Oct. 11-12 when the Defense Health Headquarters, DHHQ, held its annual Influenza Vaccination Fair and immunized hundreds against influenza and COVID-19.
An annual flu vaccination can keep an individual from getting sick with influenza and can reduce the risk of serious flu-related complications and hospitalizations. A total of 554 flu shots were administered over the two-day fair at DHHQ. Most people received a standard dose of this year’s flu vaccine, and eligible people 65 or older received a high-dose formulation, which contains four times the antigen, the substance that triggers immune response, of a standard flu vaccine dose.
“Public Health is predicated on preventing illnesses or injuries before they happen,” said Mr. Sean Friendly, deputy director of DHA Public Health, who received his flu vaccination at the event. “Getting a yearly flu vaccine is a great practice to promote public health and wellness.”
U.S. Public Health Service Rear. Adm. Brandon Taylor, director of DHA Public Health, visited the event to personally administer vaccines for the second straight year and was also immunized. He expressed his gratitude to the Mobile Vaccination Team of 59 technicians from Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir who conducted the event.
“Everyone worked together to accomplish a great thing here,” Taylor said. “Giving people the protection they need against serious disease threats like the flu and COVID-19 is essential to preserving our health and force readiness.”
The Mobile Vaccination Team also administered 100 doses of the updated 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine.
“We face the threat of serious respiratory illnesses every year around this time,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. John Iskander, Chief, DHA Immunization Healthcare Division, referring to flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). “Vaccines are the most important tool we have to protect people from these threats.”