GAROUA, Cameroon – The soldiers of 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, are serving in a support role for the Cameroon military’s fight against the violent extremist organization Boko Haram.
However, “Warriors” of 1-87 IN also have to beware of foes that take the form of sicknesses or diseases like malaria or the flu.
The flu vaccination is an annual Army requirement that helps control this common contagious adversary according to Capt. Joshua Randles, the 1-87 IN physician assistant and native of Argyle, New York.
“Flu vaccination reduces the chance of getting influenza,” said Randles, “and if a Soldier happens to get influenza, the vaccine is shown to reduce the severity of the illness.”
“This is important in an austere environment where evacuation may take days,” Randles said.
All vaccinations and medicines arrive here on military flights that rotate in and out of this region. However, flights may become delayed or assigned to other missions causing a lull in deliveries.
As a result, 10th Mountain soldiers here did not receive the vaccinations until December 20.
“We have been waiting for about six weeks for the vaccinations,” said Sgt. Clayton Young, 1-87 IN medic from Rochester, New York.
The night the vaccinations arrived, soldiers lined up to receive their flu shot.
The Warrior medic team was able to vaccinate 120 soldiers in about three hours inoculating a significant number of the service members in need of the flu shot.