Tripler Army Medical Center
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Tripler Public Affairs Office, 808-433-5785|
|Release Number 04-058||Oct. 29, 2004|
Good health habits prevent flu
Tripler limiting flu vaccinations to
‘very highest priority patients’
due to limited supply
(Editor’s Note: Tripler hopes to receive more vaccine and will be continually updating information as supplies change. Please NOTE date of release in upper right hand corner. Thank you.
More information on good health habits is available on the CDC’s website available at http://www.cdc.gov/. For local updates, please check Tripler’s website at www.tamc.amedd.army.mil and click on Flu Updates.)
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office
HONOLULU—Tripler Army Medical Center is currently limiting flu vaccinations on a case-by-case basis to deploying troops and those people who are at very high risk for developing complications from influenza. Military-eligible patients in “very high risk” categories may obtain an authorization form from their Primary Care or Specialty Care Provider to receive the vaccine at Tripler’s Allergy and Immunization Clinic.
The clinic’s immunization hours are Tuesdays, 1 – 3 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 – 11:30 a.m. The clinic is located on Tripler’s fourth floor. The two easiest ways to get there are:
1. Park on the Mountainside and stay to your left. Walk all the way down the left corridor and you’ll be at the clinic.
2. Park Oceanside and take the elevators near the Tripler Post Office and Distribution Center. Go to the fourth floor, turn right and you will be at the clinic.
“As more vaccine becomes available to Tripler, or the community influenza situation changes, more guidance will be provided,” said Navy Capt. (Dr.) Kevin Berry, Tripler’s deputy commander for Clinical Services. “Tripler is making sure the vaccine gets to the patients with the most critical needs first.”
Tripler Specialty Care Patients who are enrolled to Hickam Air Force Base, Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Bay Clinics Primary Care Providers (PCPs) are asked to get their vaccine from their PCPs.
These are the patients Tripler staff is identifying as being at very high risk.
Very High Risk Patients:
· Hematology-Oncology patients undergoing active therapy
· HIV/AIDS patients
· Dialysis patients
· Transplant patients
· Patients on immunosuppressive agents
· Steroid-dependent pulmonary disease patients
· Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients
· Patients with extreme heart disease (Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, and congenital heart disease)
It is extremely important that very high-risk patients have correct address and phone contact information in DEERS so they may be contacted at their current residence. DEERS stands for Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System.
The easiest way to update the DEERS information is to go to www.tricare.osd.mil, and click on “DEERS” to the bottom right of the web page. It will take you directly to the Address Change Option in DEERS.
Enrollment forms to transfer TRICARE benefits are also located on the website above.
Enrollees may also call the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office at 1-800-538-9552, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Wednesdays through Fridays.
“Other locations in the community may have more vaccine doses available than Tripler, and patients are encouraged to use these sites while Tripler seeks addition sources of vaccine,” said Col. (Dr.) Dale Vincent, chief of Tripler’s Department of Medicine.
For information on flu vaccinations available in the community, please call 211. Tripler’s Immunization Clinic may be reached at 433-6334
Good health habits prevent getting the flu. People should concentrate on not getting the flu by doing the following:
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
· Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.