Flu shots are here

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Bobbie Reinsche, 17th TRW Command Chief, receive their flu shots from Tiffany Jones, 17th Medical Operations Squadron family practice registered nurse, and Airman 1st Class Danny Smith Jr., 17th MDOS aerospace medical technician, at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 29, 2016. All active duty military members are required to receive the flu vaccination annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Bobbie Reinsche, 17th TRW Command Chief, receive their flu shots from Tiffany Jones, 17th Medical Operations Squadron family practice registered nurse, and Airman 1st Class Danny Smith Jr., 17th MDOS aerospace medical technician, at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 29, 2016. All active duty military members are required to receive the flu vaccination annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

This year’s flu vaccination season kicked off on Sept. 29.

Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, group commanders, joint service commanders and other wing leadership have received their flu vaccination. The regular flu season starts this month and runs until June 2017.

“An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to prevent seasonal flu,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Stone, 17th Medical Operations Squadron Commander. “It is safe and a preventive health action that benefits all of us. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people [who] will be protected from [the] flu.”

Vaccinations are mandatory for active duty, reserve, and guard personnel. The seasonal flu vaccine is offered to all training squadrons and active duty permanent party personnel initially. Additionally, the Medical Group will mail out information letters to high-risk population members. Once the flu vaccines are on hand, flu shots will be available Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Ross Clinic. The 17th Medical Group is closed on holidays and the third Thursday each month for training.

“We have a schedule now for all active duty and Department of Defense beneficiaries,” said Stone. “Our goal is to have the majority of active duty vaccinated by mid-November.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, everyone can take everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of germs like washing your hands often with soap and water and staying home when sick.

For more information or questions, contact the Immunizations Clinic at 325-654-1484.