FORT HOOD, Texas – As COVID-19 still threatens the health and safety of the community, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) healthcare professionals encourage everyone to get immunized against the flu this year.
Even if you don’t think you’re susceptible to getting the flu, the CRDAMC says getting vaccinated yourself means you’re protecting those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness such as babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends annual seasonal influenza vaccination for everyone six months of age and older and has set a goal that 65 percent of adults and children be vaccinated against the flu. According to the Defense Health Agency, its goal is to meet or exceed this vaccination rate throughout the military by December.
Typically during each flu season, military hospitals vaccinate active-duty servicemembers first, then high-risk patients and health care workers, and then the rest of the community.
Information from the TRICARE website states beneficiaries need to verify whether their hospital or clinic has the flu vaccine in stock before attempting to obtain the flu vaccine in the network. If not in stock, they may obtain the flu immunization from any network pharmacy that accepts TRICARE.
However, if a physician or nurse practitioner gives the vaccine, it is considered an office visit and TRICARE will not authorize payment. The Health Department is not a TRICARE authorized establishment, so there may be out of pocket costs to the beneficiary if they utilize their service.
For more detailed information,you can visit: www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/FluVaccine
While getting the flu shot is paramount in protecting against the flu, Mendezlanda said you can take steps to decrease your risk of infection.