Fall arrives and vaccinations soar

| September 26, 2014 | 0 Comments
HONOLULU — Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur (right), allergy immunizations technician, Tripler Army Medical Center, gives the influenza vaccination to Spc. Tyler Warren during a visit to TAMC, here, Aug. 18. (Spc. Paxton Busch, Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur (right), allergy immunizations technician, Tripler Army Medical Center, gives the influenza vaccination to Spc. Tyler Warren during a visit to TAMC, here, Aug. 18. (Spc. Paxton Busch, Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

TRICARE
News Release
To prepare for the fall school year and the holiday season, TRICARE beneficiaries can protect their families by using TRICARE’s vaccine benefit.

Vaccines lower the chances of catching serious diseases and reduce long-term health care costs. That’s why it’s good news that TRICARE is covering more vaccine claims than ever.

One of the most contagious and common viruses during winter is the flu. Getting the flu vaccine protects you and those around you who are at higher risk from the flu, such as children, older adults and pregnant women.

“Last year, during flu season, TRICARE covered flu vaccines for more than 453,000 beneficiaries,” said Dr. George Jones, the Defense Health Agency pharmacy chief. “We expect this number to climb even higher this season, since many beneficiaries are getting vaccinated earlier.”

Being vaccinated every year is the best way to prevent the flu; TRICARE covers both the flu shot and the flu mist.

Last fall and winter, over 50,000 adults also received the shingles vaccine, and within just the past five months, almost 22,000 more beneficiaries were also vaccinated.

“Shingles is a painful, but preventable disease,” said Dr. Jones. “TRICARE beneficiaries 60 and older can get the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, at no cost from one of our 45,000 network pharmacies.”

Rising vaccination requests
TRICARE claims for vaccines have increased almost 11 percent in the past 12 months.

In the past six months, TRICARE has also helped prepare children for school by covering about 8,400 vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, and more than 400 vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox at retail pharmacies alone.

Overall, TRICARE covered nearly 14,000 vaccines for children 0-18 years old.

Almost any doctor will tell you it’s better to prevent a disease than treat it. TRICARE beneficiaries can keep their families safe by using the no-cost vaccine benefit before vaccine-preventable diseases occur.

Beneficiaries can get vaccines at no cost from any TRICARE-authorized pharmacy. The standard co-payment for an office visit applies when you get a vaccine in a doctor’s office.

Immunizations
The general flu number for island military beneficiaries is 433-1FLU (1358).
•Front desk, TAMC Allergy and Immunization Clinic, 808-433-6334;
•Schofield Barracks Troop Immunization Clinic, 808-433-8800;
•Family Practice Allergy and Immunization Clinic, 808-433-8155; and
•Pediatrics Immunization Clinic, 808-433-2778, ext. 312.

Learn More
To learn more about flu basics, treatments and prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.
To find a pharmacy or provider that participates in the vaccine program, and to see a list of covered vaccines, call 1-877-363-1303 or go to www.tricare.mil/vaccines.

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Category: Community, Health

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