Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Fort Gordon inoculates soldiers against flu

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 11:55 AM
Last updated 5:25 PM
  • Follow Latest News

An estimated 85 percent of Fort Gordon’s service members were inoculated against the flu Wednesday at a rate of more than 300 soldiers every 15 minutes.

Back | Next
Col. Christopher Castle, the commander of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, gets his flu shot. An estimated 85 percent of Fort Gordon's service members were inoculated against the flu Wednesday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Col. Christopher Castle, the commander of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, gets his flu shot. An estimated 85 percent of Fort Gordon's service members were inoculated against the flu Wednesday.

The annual mass inoculation is unique in the Army to Fort Gordon and has shortened over the past seven years from a three-day event to about eight hours.

The Department of Defense requires every base to have 90 percent of its garrison protected against influenza by December. Fort Gordon’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center meets that goal early, said Chin Wang, a military vaccine regional analyst.

“We try to do it quicker and better,” Wang said.

Around 9 a.m. – four hours after the the doors opened to a line of soldiers – the scene inside Gym No. 5 was that of controlled chaos. A steady stream of soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines passed through the lanes of nursing students dressed in crisp white uniforms.

Most of those under the age of 50 received the nasal mist; the older soldiers got a jab in the arm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the 2011-12 flu season started late and was generally mild, setting a record for the lowest and shortest peak. The CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months receive a vaccination, particularly vulnerable populations such as those over the age of 65, pregnant women and people at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia with the flu.

For the armed forces, the flu shot ensures military readiness, particularly among soldiers who live in close quarters on a post.

Months of preparation went into Wednesday’s event, which typically targets about 9,000 service members, but there are still unforeseen snags. The refrigerated truck carrying the vaccinations broke down Wednesday morning. Melody Brown, a preventative medicine nurse at the hospital, shrugged it off and made new plans.

“We’re the Army,” she said. “We adapt and overcome.”

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Little Lamb
45313
Points
Little Lamb 10/03/12 - 12:03 pm
2
0
Early

It's actually a bit early for flu vaccination. The season hits Georgia usually in January, and people who get the vaccine in August and September will have their immunity significantly worn off when the season hits.

Get your shot a little before Thanksgiving.

KSL
126670
Points
KSL 10/03/12 - 08:08 pm
0
0
I am not sure why this is

I am not sure why this is news. At where I work, we got ours weeks ago. I have always been a questioner. I asked why we were getting them so early, Little Lamb.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs