LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
It’s that time of year again when the children are heading back to school, the leaves are falling off the trees, pumpkin spice is drizzled over many coffee lover’s lattes, and garbage cans are filled with used tissues.
That’s because it’s also the time for sneezing, coughing and fevers, because flu season is finding its way back onto Laughlin Air Force Base. The flu makes no exceptions for anyone, unless Laughlin’s Airmen make themselves an exception by stopping by the base clinic and getting a flu shot – when they arrive this October.
“We should have stock of the flu shot that’s readily available by the end of October at the latest,” said Senior Airman Sara Valeski, 47th Medical Operations Squadron allergy immunizations technician.
She says that these shots are an important, preventative measure from the alternative of having the flu.
“The flu is just like any other illness that’s transported by people who don’t wash their hands, touch other people, coughing,” she said. “People don’t understand that you could die from the flu, even as simply as being dehydrated or having a compromised immune system could land you in the [Intensive Care Unit].”
It’s important to stay current with the flu shot because it could save people from becoming sick and passing the sickness on to others. According to the Center for Disease Control, last year millions of people caught the flu, in which hundreds were even hospitalized.
With advancing technology and different compositions to the flu shot, according to Valeski, the formula is safe, and more readily available to all Airmen and their families.
“Technically, there is nobody that shouldn’t be able to get the shot,” Valeski said. “Sometimes, with pre-existing allergies you would find yourself having to wait a few days, but in the end [Airmen] are required to get the flu shot.”
Receiving the flu shot saves Airmen from multiple days of missing work due to sickness, and saves others from receiving the virus from close contact or being transferred from a sick individual.
To schedule your appointment at immunizations or learn practical ways to be protected from the flu, call the Laughlin clinic at (830) 298-6333.