WBAMC Flu Campaign continues

Flu-001: Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs: Col. John Combs, right, deputy commander for patient support, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, receives the annual influenza vaccine from Pfc. Sarah Hernandez, combat medic, Company B, WBAMC, at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, Oct. 6. 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

Flu-001: Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs: Col. John Combs, right, deputy commander for patient support, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, receives the annual influenza vaccine from Pfc. Sarah Hernandez, combat medic, Company B, WBAMC, at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, Oct. 6. 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

By Amabilia Payen, WBAMC Public Affairs:

The Department of Preventive Medicine at William Beaumont Army Medical Center wants beneficiaries ages 3 and up to know when and where they can go to get the flu vaccine.

The first option is going 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 six months to three 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.

The second option beneficiaries have is participating in one of the public flu drive events. “Open-to-the-public” events are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 1 and 8, and from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 2 and 9 at the Mendoza Soldier Family Care Clinic.

The third and final option beneficiaries have to get their flu vaccine is to visit a Tricare Retail Network pharmacy. If this route is chosen, beneficiaries must 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/ health restrictions. Ensure a military identification card is presented 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

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 on the Fort Bliss Bugle, or you can call the WBAMC Flu Vaccine Hotline at 742-3142 for more information.