Tracy McClung | Munson Army Health
Center Public Affairs

Now is the best time to lower your chances of getting influenza by being vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6-months-old and older receive
a yearly flu shot. While symptoms of the flu are generally mild, the flu can be particular-ly serious or even deadly for babies, young children, pregnant women, older adults and
people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system.


“The flu spreads easily from person to person mainly by coughing, sneezing and close contact. We recommend that all eligible people 6 months and up get the flu vaccine this
year,” said Lt. Col. Ira Waite, deputy commander of nursing at Munson Army Health
Center.

MAHC will be having its first flu vaccination event in conjunction with Retiree Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Post Exchange. Anyone from ages 6 months old to 65 and older will be eligible for the vaccination with an ID card. TRICARE beneficiaries may also make an appointment with the MAHC immunization clinic in the Multiservice Specialty Clinic by calling (913) 684-6250.

Early fall is generally the best time to be vaccinated, before the flu begins to spread.
Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often
begins in October and November and peaks between December and February. If you don’t get the vaccine in October, it’s not too late. Getting the vaccine later can still protect you from the flu. Keep in mind that flu season can last as late as May.

“One misconception of the flu vaccine is that you can get the flu from the vaccine. The
flu shot contains a dead virus, so it cannot cause the flu,” Waite said.

The vaccine can keep you from getting the flu or make the flu less severe. A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Also avoid contact with sick people, and if you become sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and always cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands often and be sure to disinfect any surfaces or objects that may become contaminated with the flu virus. Because the flu is a virus, antibiotics are not effective against the flu.

For more information and updated flu vaccination schedules and events, visit the MAHC website at https://Munson.TRICARE.mil/ or go to the Facebook page for daily up-
dates on availability, locations and times at https://www.facebook.com/munsonhealth/.

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