TR Meets CNO's Mandate to Vaccinate 100 percent of Crew in 72 hours

Story Number: NNS110921-04Release Date: 9/21/2011 2:38:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Church, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt's (CVN-71) Medical department completed flu vaccinations for more than 1,900 Sailors Sept. 6-8 to meet a Chief of Naval Operations directive to have all carrier personnel vaccinated within 72 hours.

With the colder months approaching, the directive was an opportunity for TR to evaluate its medical department.

"We were able to account for 100 percent of ship's crew, and vaccinate every Sailor not away for temporary additional duty, individual augmentee, or on leave," said Cmdr. Brad H. Douglas, TR's medical officer.

TR's Medical Department accomplished their goal by coordinating with all other departments to ensure all Sailors were sent to medical to receive their vaccinations. Medical sent out daily reports naming Sailors who hadn't received their flu shot.

"Next month we will receive an Individual Medical Readiness Report and be able to see how our success compares to other carriers," said Douglas. "It helps us ensure we are completing our job efficiently and we are ready for when we go back out to sea."

TR medical personnel stressed the importance of the flu vaccinations to prevent sickness and keep Sailors working to the best of their abilities.

"We need all hands to get this ship back out to sea," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Monet L. Shaw. "If a Sailor gets sick and is not medically fit for duty, it brings down our mission readiness."

TR's flu vaccination also has implications on the mission readiness of other ship's as well.

"We are constantly sending personnel to other ships for additional experience and training," said Douglas. "If they aren't medically fit, they can't be sent on other ships, hurting their mission as well as ours."

Not only did TR complete the directive, but they didn't allow it to slow their normal operations.

"This directive came at a time when we were preparing for the Physical Fitness Assessments and we also continued routine tasks like sick call, birth-month recall, as well as medical emergencies," said Douglas. "Medical did a great job."

TR's preventive medicine program adds another line of defense in helping Sailors stay healthy and focused on returning TR to the fleet.

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