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62d MDS boosts flu vaccine availability for Team McChord

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kylee Tyus
  • 62d Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team McChord is rolling out its flu plan with walk-in vaccinations available for active-duty service members at the McChord Theatre on Nov. 28 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Additionally, the flu vaccine is available at the McChord Clinic and Madigan Medical Center for active-duty service members on a walk-in basis.

The responsibility of immunization mission requirements falls on the 62d Medical Squadron. To prepare, the 62d MDS takes into consideration many factors to purchase the accurate amount of supplies for service members, dependents and department of defense civilians. The 62d Airlift Wing’s effort to provide accessible immunizations ensures the development of ready Airmen and families.

After determining the number of supplies needed, the 62d MDS puts together what is called a “Flu Plan.” Within this plan, medical personnel have decided on where the flu lines will take place, how many priority patients they’re going to have and have solidified any contingency response plans. 

“Deployers, first responders, MDS Airmen, personnel going overseas, as well as people going through a permanent change of duty station would be considered priority patients,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Paige Yammarino, allergy immunizations NCO in charge with the 62d MDS.

Service members, DoD wide are required to stay up to date with their vaccinations to avoid mission roadblocks caused by the spread of the flu virus.

“The flu can cause symptoms such as low-grade fever, body aches and fatigue,” said Staff Sgt. Johnathan Perez, NCO in charge of the Warrior Operational Medical Clinic. “It is viral, so it spreads pretty fast and is usually more prominent in the colder seasons such as fall and winter.”

According to Perez, year-round coordination is the most important thing when it comes to administering the flu vaccine. Communicating with each unit regarding when and where the flu lines are is imperative to encourage mass advertisement and participation.

“Every year on Oct. 1, Airmen go yellow in the Individual Medical Readiness system and on Dec. 15, those who haven’t received the vaccination go red,” said Yammarino. “Our goal is to get all active-duty Airmen vaccinated by Dec. 15. You must be mission ready at all times, and if service members aren’t vaccinated, they aren’t mission ready.”

Receiving the flu vaccination before the Dec. 15 deadline is highly encouraged for all Team McChord Airmen in order to be ready to execute today’s global airlift mission.