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Public Affairs Office
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U.S. Army Hospital – Nachrichten Kaserne
Postfach 103180 69021 Heidelberg, Germany
Contact Steve Davis 371-3317 Tel. 06221-17-3317
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FluMist® vaccine available in Army clinics now

HEIDELBERG, Germany – FluMist® influenza vaccine has arrived at Army medical clinics throughout Europe, and all authorized beneficiaries are encouraged to get immunized.
Army medical officials report there is a sufficient amount of influenza vaccination available this year. Authorized beneficiaries should contact their local Army medical clinic to learn about its influenza immunization schedule.
Vaccination is mandatory for all active duty military personnel, DoD civilians designated as emergency essential and reserve personnel on active duty. TRICARE beneficiaries will also be offered the vaccine to protect against influenza and its severe complications.  
“Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses,” said Col. Theresa Moser, chief of the Europe Regional Medical Command’s Force Health Protection Office which oversees the immunization program. “The best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated every year and practice good hand hygiene.”
She advises people to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and to use hand sanitizers frequently when soap and water are not available.
Flu season typically extends each year from October to May.
Moser said the type of vaccine an individual receives will depend on age and contributing health factors, as determined during careful pre-vaccination screening at an immunization clinic.
For the 2008-2009 influenza season, the Department of Defense has contracted for a total of 3.5 million influenza doses, including 1.9 million doses of inactivated (injectable) vaccine and 1.6 million doses of live attenuated (intranasal) vaccine. Distribution of intranasal vaccine started in August, and injectable vaccine shipments will start in the near future.
FluMist®, an intranasal vaccine approved for 2-49 year olds, is now available at Army medical clinics in Europe.  It is a live, but weakened, influenza vaccine sprayed into the nose.
Injectable vaccine has not yet arrived at Army health clinics in Europe, but is expected in the near future, according to officials at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe.
Injectable vaccine, an inactivated protein-derived vaccine given by intramuscular injection, may be used for those with medical conditions that preclude the use of FluMist®, such as pregnancy or certain allergies, or where intranasal vaccine is unavailable due to logistical constraints. Pediatric injectable vaccine will be administered to children ages 6-23 months.  Injectable vaccine will also be administered to beneficiaries over 49 years old and those patients for whom FluMist® has not been recommended.
Studies have shown that both the injectable vaccine and the nasal spray vaccine are safe and effective at preventing influenza.
This year’s goal is to immunize 95 percent or more of the U.S. Army Europe active duty population by December 31. Members of the active force can expect to receive information from their units. Other beneficiaries should contact their local heath clinic.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta publishes guidelines for influenza vaccinations, and the Army will follow those guidelines in its annual campaign.
For more general information on influenza and the benefits of receiving the annual vaccination, visit the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov/flu/ or www.vaccines.mil/flu .