NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Medical Department will be providing crew members a seasonal flu mist/vaccine, Oct. 22-26.
Influenza, also known as the "flu," is a contagious disease, which spreads from one infected person to the nose and throat of another.
"This is the first year USS Carl Vinson will be administering the flu mist," said Lt. Deepti Moon, the aircraft carrier's general medical officer. "The mist is as equally effective as the shot, but is less painful. The primary difference between the mist and the shot is the fact that the mist is an active virus, while the shot is not active."
According to the 2007/2008 "What You Need to Know" vaccination information statement provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the live flu mist is administered through the nostrils and usually takes two weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination. The mist is recommended for most people except for the following exceptions: children under the age of two, people over the age of 50, pregnant personnel and those who have a history of serious medical conditions.
"Six corpsman from Medical Department will be available during any of the given times to administer the mist to the crew," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jose Belen, preventive medicine's leading petty officer. "We have arranged it to be a fast and efficient process without the pain of a shot and waiting in a line for a long time."
Although Carl Vinson's Medical Department will begin administering the breadth of the vaccinations soon, some crew members have already had the opportunity to receive the mist and report positive experiences.
"Receiving the nasal spray versus the shot was a little different than what we're accustomed to," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Stephen Montgomery, work center supervisor for Safety Department. "However, it was less painful and was a better overall experience."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.