JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The Allergy and Immunizations Clinic at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center has established a walk-in Influenza Vaccine Line exclusively for active-duty status until Dec. 1, to expedite the vaccination of service members.
Active-duty patients can receive their vaccination in the WHASC atrium, located between the C and D wings, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Due to the holidays, hours of operation on Nov. 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will be closed on Nov. 23 and 24.
Influenza has the potential to delay mission readiness. Vaccination can significantly reduce influenza illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work attendance, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
“It is an all-hands-on-deck task, and Airmen have stepped up for their units to ensure we surpass the Department of Defense’s 90-percent vaccination goal,” explained Master Sgt. Evans Opoku, 59th Medical Specialty Squadron Allergy and Immunizations flight chief.
Airmen from multiple clinics and specialties have volunteered to complete the mission.
“It has been a collaborative effort across three groups: the 59th Medical Operations Group, 59th Medical Support Group, and 59th Dental Group,” said Opoku. “Maintaining readiness is crucial for both our service members and beneficiaries, ensuring they stay up to date with their flu shots to protect against influenza and potential complications.”
Medical technicians, registered nurses, and dental providers are working as vaccinators, while dental technicians and assistants are handling manpower screening, patient check-in and out, and directing the vaccine line.
“I’m volunteering to contribute to the readiness of our service members,” said Airman Cyerra Caldwell, 59th Dental Training Squadron dental assistant. “I’m also excited to be here because I love meeting new people and being able to work with them.”
Airmen are dedicated to the mission and see this as an opportunity to build teamwork. Staff Sgt. Anna Regina Claro, 59th Medical Specialty Squadron medical technician, is working as a vaccinator for the vaccine line and has just returned from deployment to a new team.
“I’m happy for this great opportunity to work with a new team and build new professional relationships,” expressed Claro. “We need to vaccinate to ensure no outbreaks occur. Active duty is a priority because we’re the ones deploying and have missions to go on, and we can’t accomplish the mission if exposed to illnesses and diseases.”
All other beneficiaries, 6 months and older, can receive their influenza vaccine by appointment only at the WHASC Allergy and Immunizations Clinic on the third floor in D-wing on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The line will have special holiday hours on Nov. 22, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will be closed on Nov. 23 and 24, 2023. The Pediatrics Clinic also offers the flu vaccine during well-child exams.
Beneficiaries may also receive CDC-recommended vaccines at no cost at participating network pharmacies. To locate available network pharmacies, visit https://militaryrx.express-scripts.com/find-pharmacy
or call 1-877-363-1303.
To schedule an appointment to receive the influenza vaccine, call the Consult and Appointment Management Office at 210-916-9900 or book online via the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal