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H1N1 available for 113th Airmen

SSgt Christopher Rose, 113th Wing Medical Group, injects SSgt Jesse McCarley, 121st Fighter Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment, with the H1N1 vaccine, January 9. The H1N1 vaccine is critical in keeping Air National Guard members healthy at home and in forward deployed locations. (DCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. William R. Parks)

SSgt Christopher Rose, 113th Wing Medical Group, injects SSgt Jesse McCarley, 121st Fighter Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment, with the H1N1 vaccine, January 9. The H1N1 vaccine is critical in keeping Air National Guard members healthy at home and in forward deployed locations. (DCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. William R. Parks)

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- The novel H1N1 influenza virus is showing trends of being milder than typical flu; however, one reason H1N1 has been so widespread is that it is a new strain of the influenza virus, so the world's population in general does not yet have sufficient immunity to fight off an infection.
Although also called "pandemic influenza", this term comes from its worldwide nature; in June of 2009, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 virus to be a worldwide pandemic. Pandemic status is not necessarily related to the severity of a disease to an individual or a population. In the case of the current H1N1 situation, a pandemic means the disease that has become very widely spread and that many people worldwide have been diagnosed or ill with H1N1.
"The 113th Wing received 500 doses and will be providing vaccinations on a first come, first serve basis," said Capt. Dana Radar, 113 MDG. "Research showed the first round of vaccines weren't as effective and didn't last as long but the current vaccines provide the adequate dosage," she added.
Military members are mandated to receive the vaccine and all deploying Airmen will receive the vaccine as part of their mobilization. Because supplies of the 2009 H1N1 vaccines have increased dramatically, CDC is now encouraging everyone who has been patiently waiting to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to get vaccinated at this time.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends influenza vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. The week of January 10-16, 2010 marked this season's National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), a national observance to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination beyond the holiday season.
Traditional Airman can get their vaccine during the UTA weekend or on Wednesdays.
Beneficiaries who routinely receive their care, or are eligible for care, at CONUS and OCONUS AF military treatment facilities (MTFs) will be able to receive the H1N1 vaccine at those facilities or from their local TRICARE network provider.

Dependents of Guard and Reserve who are not eligible to receive their care at the local MTF will receive their vaccination from their local civilian medical provider or local civilian Public Health Department.

AF Civilians and Contractors will be able to obtain the H1N1 vaccine through their primary care providers or local health departments.