NEWS | Dec. 7, 2020

Army Reserve division leads way with flu-shot program

By Sgt. Salvatore Ottaviano 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division has launched an in-house flu clinic for the 2020-2021 flu season.

The flu-shot program is being administered by the division’s Surgeon’s Office and Soldier Readiness Improvement Program team. Three-hundred vaccinations are being provided to 99th RD Soldiers and civilian employees during normal duty hours and Battle Assembly weekends.

“In one week, our medics administered 40 flu shots. If our Soldiers received the shots through LHI or Walgreens, the cost would have been approximately $2,800,” explained Lt. Col. Kenneth Bria, officer in charge of the 99th’s Soldier Readiness Improvement Program. “We then would have had to pay Soldiers an RST at an average of $250 each for another $10,000 in costs; this comes to $12,800 for 40 flu shots, which is more than double our cost of $4,600.”

Bria said this program will save the Army approximately $61,500 while increasing readiness by supporting the annual flu-vaccination requirement for Soldiers.

“Of all of the years, this is the year that the flu shot needs to be taken seriously,” said Anthony Ciotti, health readiness coordinator for the division’s Surgeons Office. “Flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms. There is a concern that someone may actually contract both at the same time.”

The 99th RD purchased the vaccine from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, explained Ciotti.

“We had an idea, and we were able to do it,” said Ciotti. “(The 99th RD) leans far forward in its foxhole.”