By Melissa House, MACH Public Affairs OfficeDecember 11, 2009
FORT BENNING, Ga. - The H1N1 vaccination is mandatory for all active-duty personnel and will be administered en masse. The vaccinations will take place at sites on Sand Hill and Main Post and should be completed by Friday, Fort Benning officials said.
Martin Army Community Hospital is continuing to provide injectable H1N1 vaccinations to the following patient target groups, based on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice:
Aca,!Ac Pregnant women, including Soldiers, those caring for infants younger than 6 months old.
Aca,!Ac Healthcare workers, including Soldiers.
Aca,!Ac Beneficiaries ages 4 to 24.
Aca,!Ac Persons 25 to 64 with chronic medical conditions or weakened immunity, including Soldiers.
Currently, MACH does not have an appropriate H1N1 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 2 years. Children in this age range must receive an injectable vaccine, said Dr. (MAJ) Tomas Backenson, chief, Allergy/Immunology.
"The only shots we currently have are approved for kids four and older only," he said.
There are two additional manufacturers with shots approved for kids 6 months to 2, but the hospital has not yet received those. As soon as the hospital gets the H1N1 vaccine approved for kids 2 and younger, shots will be available.
For healthy children ages 2 to 4, MACH has only the H1N1 nasal mist on hand. The nasal mist should not be used on children with chronic medical conditions (like asthma).
"We do have seasonal flu vaccine for anyone who wants it," Backenson said.
Patients can visit the MACH Flu Clinic on the 8th floor of the hospital from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday on a first-come, first-served basis or call the CARE Line at 706-544-2273 and schedule an appointment at the Family Medicine or Pediatric Clinics.
The hospital added a "What's New" line to the CARE line. Patients who call for current H1N1 information will hear a prompt "please press 9," when they first call in.
With the new line to the CARE Line, the hospital can change the flu message as appropriate and add other information to the prompt, said Terry Beckwith, chief of public affairs at the hospital.
Patients should check back frequently or access the Web page at www.martin.amedd.army.mil for the most updated information.