Flu shots available November UTA

  • Published
  • By Tech.Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs
Flu vaccines for reservists with the 624th Regional Support Group are scheduled to be given Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. during the November unit training assembly (UTA).

Senior Master Sgt. Patricia Kawa'a, superintendent of force health management with the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, said the October UTA plan to vaccinate unit members was curtailed by the threat of Hurricane Ana approaching the Hawaiian islands. Even though the base stayed open, the unit directed unit members stay home that weekend for safety reasons.

Kawa'a said that the rescheduling of flu shots didn't affect the 624th ASTS' work load; however, physical health assessments (PHA), lab work, vision and dental appointments scheduled for October were now doubled up with the November cycle of appointments. She said to expedite the process, reservists scheduled for a PHA on Saturday would be routed to immunizations at the same time.

For those not scheduled for a PHA, Capt. Deborah Lichota, a nurse and officer-in-charge of immunizations for the 624th ASTS, arranged a flu shot schedule for units to report to the base clinic. The 48th Aerial Port Squadron is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; the 624th Civil Engineering Squadron from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; the 624th ASTS from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.; and the group staff from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

"Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) wants everyone vaccinated by December 31. After January 1, reservists will be noncompliant and placed in a 'no points/no pay' status until they receive the influenza vaccination," said Kawa'a.

"If members cannot make it, they are welcome to bring in documentation of a civilian flu shot they received and I will update their records," she said.

The commander of the 624th ASTS, Col. John Langell, said, "Air Force guidance states that we vaccinate all of our members within one month of receiving the flu vaccine to our facility. It's our goal to have 90 per cent or more of our reservists vaccinated by the end of the December UTA."

Dr. Langell said that although the flu was considered a mild disease, it had significant potential to affect operational readiness in a unit.