By Deborah R. Kallgren, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs
Start off 2014 in a healthful way by resolving to protect you and your family members from the flu.
With influenza now widespread in Virginia, it’s not too late to visit Naval Medical Center Portsmouth or its branch clinics for an annual flu vaccine.
It takes approximately two weeks to fully protect the immune system from the strains in this year’s vaccine. This season’s FluMist protects against four strains of influenza. The injectable vaccine protects against three strains of flu.
Flu immunizations are available at the main medical center in Portsmouth at the Immunizations Clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The clinic opens at 9 a.m. on Thursdays.
Naval Station Norfolk Branch Clinic (formerly Sewells Point Clinic) offers flu vaccines Monday through Thursday, 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.; and on Fridays 8 to 11 a.m.
Admiral Joel T. Boone Branch Clinic at Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story offers flu vaccine 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; flu vaccine is available on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Oceana Branch Clinic offers flu immunizations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Dam Neck Branch Clinic offers flu vaccines Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Hours on Friday are 7:30 to 11 a.m.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard Branch Clinic offers flu vaccine from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Northwest Branch Clinic offers flu vaccine from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Yorktown Branch Clinic offers flu vaccine Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.; and on Fridays from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Beneficiaries enrolled to TRICARE Prime Clinics in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake should call to make an appointment for their flu vaccines.
For a downloadable version of the flu vaccine schedule, go to the NMCP website at www.med.navy.mil/sites/NMCP.