News: Shots! Immunizations keep Marines medically ready
Story by Lance Cpl. Kris Daberkoe
BEAUFORT, S.C. - One priority for every Marine preparing to deploy overseas, change duty station or depart the Marine Corps is to ensure they are medically sound before beginning the process.
Trained professionals at the Air Station Branch Health Clinic keep all service members within the Tri-Command area in prime medical condition by providing medical services to include immunizations and vaccinations.
“Most vaccinations are on a set schedule,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kendrick Boyd, the Branch Health Clinic medical readiness petty officer. “Other vaccines depend on whether your job requires you to come into contact with people. (Purified protein derivative) is a yearly requirement for sections like the provost marshal’s office, customer and food services.”
Marines begin the vaccination process by seeing their unit corpsman. Marines come in from different squadrons after being flagged as delinquent on the Medical Readiness Reporting system which is communicated via Marine Online.
The patient then walks into the immunization section to fill out health information such as prior vaccinations and allergy information.
After the vaccination, service members are asked to stand by for 10 minutes in case of an allergic reaction.
“You could be taking a medication for 20 years and still have a reaction,” said Mary Aerne, a Branch Health Clinic licensed practical nurse.
Vaccination dosage depends on factors such as age, body weight and gender.
“Before we give a shot we check off the five rights,” said Aerne. “The right dosage, the right route, the right time, the right patient and the right medication.”
With the start of the flu season approaching, the immunization shop stocks up on the most recent influenza vaccinations from the Center for Disease Control, said Aerne.
Every year the Center for Disease control changes the flu vaccination because of the different strands of flu, Aerne added.
“I feel good to be a part of keeping Marines healthy,” said Boyd. “With out this crucial process, Marines would not be fully ready for anything and helping Marines get out into the fight is a high light to this job.”