3,000 nostrils, one vaccine

Flu Mist 2013

Fear of a shot may not be restricted to a particular age. The same could be said for discomfort about having something injected up one’s nose.

Yet more than 3,000 Airmen, civilian dependents and beneficiaries braved any such anxieties when they participated in a medical exercise at the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Oct. 16. The 52nd Medical Group conducted the exercise amid a backdrop of a simulated pandemic while issuing real-world flu vaccinations to the base populace.

Flu Mist 2013

While some participants’ conditions required a needle flu vaccination, the majority of attendees received the intranasal mist. Dozens of children expressed relief at being spared from the dreaded needle only to learn about the nasal mist process for the first time.

“If I do this, I don’t have to get the shot, right?” asked T.J. Kehoe, 5, son of Tech. Sgt. Travis Kehoe, 52nd Operations Support Squadron.

T.J., along with his brother Liam, 3, accompanied their mother, Laura, to get their vaccinations. Both brothers took the nasal mists with some unique advice from their medical technician.

“I sniffed like a bunny,” Liam said. “And then I hopped really high.”

Flu Mist 2013

Mrs. Kehoe, a Tehachapi, Calif., native, remarked on the overall speed and attention-to-detail the Airmen provided.

“It’s been very smooth and enjoyable as far as getting the shots,” she said. “It’s great to know everyone is here to help us in case something really does happen.”

Their rewards for displaying such bravery? A sticker and some gummi candy (in place of pharmaceuticals) to represent the end of their exercise involvement and another life saved for the 52nd Medical Group.

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