Influenza season is here

A mass immunization site for influenza (flu) will be starting on the October UTA weekends through November UTA’s here on March Air Reserve Base in building 355 at 2355 Graeber St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

 

The flu vaccination is mandatory for all Airmen unless exempted by medical staff. Additionally, the 452nd Medical Group will host a mobile vaccination site at the Wing Commander’s Call in November.

 

Though the flu virus can be detected year-round, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza activity begins to increase in October and peaks between December and March. Getting vaccinated will protect you and those around you.

 

 “The flu shot will not only lower your chances of getting influenza, but if you do get it (flu), it will make symptoms less severe, and also keep you from spreading the flu to your family and other people,” said Capt. Johanna Boone, OIC infection control and immunization for the 752nd Medical Squadron. “Keep in mind that after you are given the flu shot, you may feel a little soreness, swelling, or redness around the area where the shot was administered.”

 

According to the CDC, any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

 

“Though these possibilities are rare, if you do happen to experience a severe allergic reaction or other medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and get to the nearest hospital,” said Boone.

 

If you’d like to learn more, ask your healthcare provider or contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at 1-800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/flu.