Seasonal flu vaccines are plentiful in Europe
Stars and Stripes August 27, 2009
Supplies will be plentiful enough this year for everyone to receive vaccination for seasonal influenza, say U.S. military medical commands in Europe.
The Army’s Europe Regional Medical Command, which runs the most health clinics, already has supplies in place, said Col. Theresa Moser, chief of the Force Health Protection Office. Because supplies are plentiful, civilians and family members do not need to wait until active-duty members have received their vaccinations, she said.
Air Force and Navy bases also are receiving the vaccines and it should be available soon, officials said. Unlike the Army, the Air Force will give priority to its airmen to receive the shot first.
Lt. Col. Megan McCormick, U.S. Air Forces in Europe command public health officer, the command’s goal was to have its communities immunized by “late October or early November.”
The Army also wants people to be immunized against the seasonal flu before they have an opportunity to get vaccinations for the H1N1 virus — commonly known as swine flu, which has been responsible for nearly 1,800 deaths around the world this year, according to the World Health Organization.
The H1N1 vaccine is undergoing clinical trials, but some media reports indicate it could be ready as early as September.