WPAFB Immunizations Clinic helps protect against illnesses

Tech. Sgt. Amanda Buckholdt (right), Wright-Patterson Medical Center Allergy and Immunizations section chief, and Kayle Willis, Allergy and Immunizations administrative technician, demonstrate how the Immunization Clinic administers vaccines to patients on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Gaither)
Caption
Tech. Sgt. Amanda Buckholdt (right), Wright-Patterson Medical Center Allergy and Immunizations section chief, and Kayle Willis, Allergy and Immunizations administrative technician, demonstrate how the Immunization Clinic administers vaccines to patients on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Gaither)

Staying healthy is what everyone strives to do each day, but people can also help ward off many types of infirmities by simply receiving regular vaccinations and staying current on them.

The Wright-Patterson Immunizations Clinic, located within the Wright-Patterson Medical Center, is a walk-in clinic open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. that serves all TRICARE beneficiaries, as well as general schedule and contract employees who are entitled to care through their employer contract and require occupational vaccinations.

“The Immunizations Clinic is responsible for administering and maintaining vaccines to protect against preventable diseases,” said Tech Sgt. Amanda Buckholdt, Allergy and Immunizations section chief.

Routine vaccinations are important in protecting the person being vaccinated, but they also protect individuals you come into contact with who may not be able to receive vaccinations due to various reasons.

“The term ‘herd immunity’ refers to the immunized population who help protect those who are unable to get vaccinated,” said Buckholdt.

In keeping patients properly vaccinated, the clinic ensures all vaccines are stored properly. This is accomplished by tracking the temperatures in storage refrigerators, confirming vaccines are within the standard allotted by the manufacturer. This routine process, cold-chain management, preserves vaccines, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.

“We make sure to track vaccine refrigerator temperatures on a daily basis and are prepared to move vaccines in the event of a power outage,” said Buckholdt.

While medical providers track vaccination records to make sure they are up-to-date, the Immunizations Clinic creates and updates patient vaccination records as needed, even if immunizations are obtained elsewhere. Patients are permitted to hand-carry a receipt of administered vaccines to the clinic and their record will be updated.

“I think the DoD (Department of Defense) does a great job of vaccinating,” said Buckholdt. “We track immunizations from birth on, making sure patients and parents know when vaccinations are due. We ensure that our DoD children are in a great place in terms of being vaccinated when they go to school.”

Patients in need of the shingles (Shingrix) vaccine, for those 50 and older, can receive it at the Immunizations Clinic as supplies are available.

“If patients would like to give us a call to see if the shingles (Shingrix) vaccine is available, we request they call on Wednesday afternoons, and we will hold it for them for 24 hours if available,” said Buckholdt. “They can also receive the vaccine through their local community as well. We ask that patients who receive their vaccines off base to bring us a copy of that record so that we can update their records in our system.”

Explore School liaison officer offers back-to-school information, resources for Wright-Patt families

Buckholdt suggests not solely relying on social media to learn about vaccinations but to speak with a medical provider who can give information on the benefits or address any associated risks with getting vaccinated. However, staying vaccinated helps prevent the chance of spreading diseases and they can save lives.

“If you have any questions, please talk with your health care professional or contact us in the Immunizations Clinic for any concerns that you might have,” said Buckholdt.

For more information on vaccines available at the Immunization Clinic call 937-257-3822. To find a list of recommended vaccinations with age chart, visit www.cdc.gov.

About the Author