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Military families get 'shot' at flu drive-thru
mist shot
Jenny Sexton, wife of Jay Sexton, a retired Army first sergeant, prepares to receive a mist flu vaccine from Al Harris, a nurse at Winn Army Community Hospital. (Randy C. Murray)

Fort Stewart’s Winn Army Community Hospital conducted its fourth annual drive-through flu shot clinic Wednesday and Thursday.
According to Dr. Maj. Shannon Ellis, chief of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Winn, the purpose of the clinic was not just to provide flu shots for military retirees and family members but to practice for possible pandemic situations requiring massive vaccine distribution.
“What we’re simulating here is a point of distribution where we’re practicing our emergency preparedness plan for a pandemic situation,” Ellis said. “If there was an outbreak of some major disease, the (Centers for Disease Control) would provide our POD with pallets of anti-viral medicine, which we would use to vaccinate soldiers, family members and retirees.”
Ellis, who explained that there is only one military doctor in preventive medicine per large installation, has been a doctor since 2006 when he completed his residency at Walter Reed Institute for Research. He said he has led the drive-through flu clinic each year since its inception in 2008 when it was done as a joint preparedness exercise with Liberty County.

Read more in the Nov. 5 edition of the News.

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