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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Walter Agudelo-Arevalo, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, independent medical technician, demonstrates use of a needle used for intramuscular injections, with help from Tech. Sgt. Haley Lecomte, 325th Medical Operations Squadron, medical technician and NCO in charge of immunizations, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Aug. 6, 2019. Due to limited staffing in response to Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, medical staff are only able to provide immunizations to military members.(U.S. Air Force photo by SrA Dylan Auger)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.—

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month. The goal of NIAM is to raise awareness about immunizations throughout the lifespan, from infants to the elderly.

Immunizations, or vaccines, can help protect Airmen and their families from preventable diseases and play a key role in maintaining mission readiness by helping to sustain good health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of Americans get sick each year from diseases that vaccines can prevent.

 “We need to make sure that everyone is ready and fit to fight,” said Tech. Sgt. Haley Lecomte, 325th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician and NCO in charge of immunizations. “Many things can be easily prevented with just a simple vaccine.”

Service members are required to receive a flu vaccine annually, as well as staying up to date on additional immunizations, such as Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.

 “Vaccines help prevent everything from the seasonal flu to other illnesses such as MMR,” said Tech. Sgt. John Varner, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Independent Duty Medical Technician.

Medical staff at Tyndall Air Force Base have felt the impact of Hurricane Michael and due to limited personnel, only military members may receive vaccinations at the base’s medical facility during this time.

The Tyndall Immunizations Clinic is open to active duty service members on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Lecomte said that dependents of service members may receive vaccinations at off base locations that accept TRICARE health insurance.

The Immunizations clinic is able to transcribe past immunization records to the Florida SHOTS system to create a Form 680, for the children of service members needing to be enrolled in the Florida school system.

For more information on immunizations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/ or contact your local health department.