Active duty service members get prepped for flu season

Fort Gordon flu shots

The Department of Defense is preparing active duty service members at Fort Gordon for the flu season.

In six hours, almost 10,000 soldiers were given the flu shot.

"Its a preventive measurement program we established that sets the perimeters so that we can keep the soldiers from being sick. If we vaccinate, the more we vaccinate the better we are to protect our forces so we don't have any loss of productivity," said Chin Wong, health care specialist at Southern Regions Medical Center.

The mass influenza vaccination program started at Fort Gordon eight years ago to prevent service members from getting sick. According to the CDC, cases of flu infections crest in January and February. The DOD wants to ensure that military personnel are protected before the virus hits its peak.

"We need to make sure we're immunized because with the different biological and chemical threats out there, simple immunization itself can help and stay fit to fight," James Tention said.

The department of defense requires that 90 percent of the military is given the vaccine. They admit that it does hurt, but service members say that the flu shot is a necessary evil.

"Just to ensure that we have a ready force. We're making sure that they're getting the vaccination to not get sick," Lebaron Bates said.

The CDC also recommends that you frequently wash your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and disinfect areas that contain germs.

"It's important because we live in a dangerous environment. We have a very organized way to make sure our soldiers stay healthy, and its important because we serve a very important duty," said Benjamin Loschiavo.