Laughlin Clinic and TRICARE offering flu shots

A medical technician administers an influenza vaccination to an Airman on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. Flu vaccines are available at the Laughlin Immunization Clinic to all military members, their families and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

A medical technician administers an influenza vaccination to an Airman on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. Flu vaccines are available at the Laughlin Immunization Clinic to all military members, their families and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

Influenza vaccinations lay in a bin on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. Influenza, the flu, is a world-wide contagious disease that spreads throughout the U.S. every winter, with peak season between October and May. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

Influenza vaccinations lay in a bin on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. Influenza, the flu, is a world-wide contagious disease that spreads throughout the U.S. every winter, with peak season between October and May. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

Senior Airman Sara Valeski (left), 47th Medical Operations Squadron Flight Medicine medical technitian, and Staff Sgt. Shon Nguyen (right), 47th MDOS Family Health flight chief, administer influenza vaccinations to Col. Thomas Shank (second from the left), 47th Flying Training Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. George Richey, 47th FTW command chief on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. The Laughlin Immunization Clinic will be available to provide free flu vaccines from 7:30 until 11:45 a.m. and 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

Senior Airman Sara Valeski (left), 47th Medical Operations Squadron Flight Medicine medical technitian, and Staff Sgt. Shon Nguyen (right), 47th MDOS Family Health flight chief, administer influenza vaccinations to Col. Thomas Shank (second from the left), 47th Flying Training Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. George Richey, 47th FTW command chief on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016. The Laughlin Immunization Clinic will be available to provide free flu vaccines from 7:30 until 11:45 a.m. and 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ariel D. Partlow)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Influenza, the flu, is a world-wide contagious disease that spreads throughout the U.S. every winter, with peak season between October and May.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the U.S. on average there are more than 25 million cases of influenza annually, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and as many as 49,000 deaths.

In support of the 47th Flying Training Wing's mission - to produce the world's best military pilots and deploy mission-ready warriors - the Laughlin Immunization Clinic will be available to provide free flu vaccines from 7:30 until 11:45 a.m. and 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 “I always look forward to getting the influenza vaccination because it builds up my immunity not only for this year but for subsequent years as well,” said Col. Thatcher Cardon, 47th Medical Group commander. “I certainly don't have time for influenza, so I make time to get the vaccine.”

This service is available to all military members, their families and retirees. Free vaccinations are also available to civilian employees through the 47th FTW’s annual flu vaccination program at the Laughlin Clinic.

TRICARE beneficiaries can also get free flu shots locally at Wal-Mart, CVS, United Medical Center and H-E-B in Del Rio and at the Clinic Pharmacy in Brackettville.

According to the TRICARE website, a pharmacist needs to administer the shot to ensure it’s covered by TRICARE. More details are available at this link: https://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy/findpharmacy.shtml