WBAMC flu campaign underway

Col. Erik G. Rude, left, commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, sets a leadership example for preventive medicine by getting his flu shot Oct. 13 in the command suite area of the main hospital. The WBAMC Flu Campaign kicked off in late September of this year with many options for Tricare beneficiaries to receive the influenza vaccination. Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs.

Col. Erik G. Rude, left, commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, sets a leadership example for preventive medicine by getting his flu shot Oct. 13 in the command suite area of the main hospital. The WBAMC Flu Campaign kicked off in late September of this year with many options for Tricare beneficiaries to receive the influenza vaccination. Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs.

By Amabilia Payen, WBAMC Public Affairs:

(El Paso, Texas, Oct. 26, 2017)

The Department of Preventive Medicine at William Beaumont Army Medical Center wants beneficiaries to be informed about when and where they can go to get the flu vaccines.

However, beneficiaries don’t have to wait for a public event to get the flu vaccine. Tricare beneficiaries ages 3 and older can get the flu vaccine right now with two options.

The first option is going to a participating Tricare Retail Network pharmacy. If this route is chosen, please ensure the vaccine is obtained from a pharmacist. Beneficiaries are asked to be aware when receiving the vaccine from an onsite medical clinic at the pharmacy, as this could lead to payment for the entire cost of the medication. Calling the pharmacy ahead of time helps beneficiaries verify the pharmacy’s current vaccination schedule, availability and any age or health restrictions. Ensure to present a military identification card at the time of service.

After the vaccine is obtained from a Tricare Retail Network pharmacy, it is important to obtain the following information, so medical records may be updated:

– The date the vaccine was given

– The vaccine name or code

– The manufacturer of the vaccine

– Lot number

The second option beneficiaries have is with their assigned clinic by making an appointment with their provider, or walk-in. Beneficiaries assigned to any clinic on post can make an appointment with their primary care manager by calling 742-2273 (CARE) or by visiting www.tricareonline.com. Children, ages 6 months to 3 years old, must see their pediatrician or primary care manager for the flu vaccine so all vaccinations may be updated and a well-baby exam may be accomplished.

In the U.S., influenza results in an estimated 25 million reported cases, more than 150,000 hospitalizations due to serious complications, and up to 30,000 deaths annually. Influenza can appear first among school-age children. Infection rates usually are the highest in this group, whereas rates of serious disease and complications are highest among the elderly, the very young, and those with certain underlying chronic conditions. More information about the influenza vaccine is available at the Tricare website at http://www.tricare.mil/flu.

WBAMC is dedicated to providing readiness through patient-friendly access to high-quality healthcare for Fort Bliss and Tricare beneficiaries. Follow WBAMC on social media for announcements, read it here in the Fort Bliss Bugle, or you can call the WBAMC Flu Vaccine Hotline at 742-3142 for more information.

For information about where and when you may receive your flu vaccination, see page 7B.