Army Medicine and Lyster Army Health Clinic is committed to ensuring that every Soldier, Family member, DA civilian, health care provider, and retiree receives the vaccines he or she needs to stay healthy.
National Immunization Awareness Month in August is the perfect time to promote immunizations and remind your family, friends, and fellow Soldiers to ensure they are fully protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
'Immunizations prevent illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella and tetanus,' said Carolyn Peterson, Allergy and Immunology Technician at LAHC.
It is critical, given the high mobility of military families, to ensure you and your children have a comprehensive, centralized immunization record even if you are seen by multiple military and civilian providers. Incomplete records can lead to unnecessary immunizations and could potentially complicate children's entry to school or day care.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunizations currently prevent an estimated two to three million deaths every year; yet an estimated 19.5 million infants worldwide are still missing basic vaccines. Immunizations play a major role in the rarity of diseases like polio and diphtheria in United States and in the protection from diseases that have caused crippling and death in persons worldwide. Global vaccination coverage has stalled at 86%, with no significant changes during the past year.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says if the protection of vaccinations is eliminated, more people will become infected and spread diseases to others.
The Immunization Clinic in Preventive Medicine at Lyster Army Health Clinic is open to active duty, retirees and their beneficiaries six weeks of age and above with a valid military ID card. Immunizations are provided on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., except for the third Wednesday of the month (open 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.).
Lyster clinicians encourage beneficiaries to visit the immunization clinic during the non-peak hours of 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. There tends to be a longer wait time during peak hours between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
According to Peterson it is recommended that infants receive their well-baby visit prior to any vaccines being given and children must be at least four years of age to receive their kindergarten vaccines. Alabama Blue cards are issued at time of vaccination, but can take up to 72 hours during the summer months.
Parents are encouraged to bring children in as early as possible with all their immunization records. Active Duty Soldiers scheduled for OCONUS assignments and those deploying overseas require a DA 4036-R from their unit; vaccinations cannot be given without this form. The Immunization Clinic welcomes any questions you may have on immunizations.