NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Naval Station Guantanamo (NSGB) active duty service members participated in an influenza shot exercise sponsored by Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay (NHGB) at the Chapel Annex, Oct 10-12.
"We conducted our annual influenza shot exercise," said Lt.j.g. Jonathan Stawicki, Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay environmental health officer. "Vaccinating 100 percent of all active duty NSGB personnel is the goal of the event to help service members stay mission ready as flu season approaches."
Influenza shots have been given in three phases: The first phase was the immunization of the 250 hospital staffers, which was done during Hurricane Irma. The second phase, which includes approximately 500 active duty Naval Station Guantanamo Bay personnel, resulted in about 450 actual shots being dispensed during the active duty shot exercise. The final phase will be open to dependents and foreign nationals free of charge, which encapsulates approximately 2,000 personnel on the base.
"I want to stress free of charge, because it's the only situation that a non-Department of Defense or non-Tricare entity would get a flu shot free of charge," said Stawicki. "We have to achieve something called herd immunity on the island - we have to have enough people get the shot for it to be effective."
For more information about flu shots and other ways to stay healthy during flu season, contact your health care provider or visits the hospital's website at: https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/gtmo/WebPages/index.html.
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For more news from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, visit www.navy.mil/local/guantanamo/.