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Pandemic Influenza Watchboard

As a key component of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Pandemic Influenza mitigation efforts, the Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Directorate develops clinical guidelines for vaccines, diagnostics and antiviral policies that ultimately serve to protect department-wide military and civilian personnel and beneficiaries living abroad or at home.

In an influenza pandemic, the DoD's mission is to preserve U.S. combat capabilities and readiness, and support U.S. government efforts to save lives, reduce human suffering and slow the spread of infection.

MCM additionally coordinates with the military Services, Joint Staff, and the Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support on all aspects of DOD's annual Seasonal Influenza Program, including public affairs and health provider messaging for any seasonal flu issues that may arise.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Rachel Langley, 310th Space Wing flight surgeon, fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the base gymPandemic Flu

MCM carefully monitors any incidences of emerging novel influenza strains that may arise worldwide, and stands ready to ensure the best available and proper countermeasures are in place to protect the nation's Armed Forces at home and abroad before a pandemic occurs, as well as respond effectively within a whole of government approach should a pandemic occur.

Seasonal Flu

MCM annually reviews DOD's seasonal influenza vaccination policy and makes recommendations for updates or modifications, so that the latest, safest and most effective available vaccines are administered to DoD personnel and beneficiaries to ensure a safe, healthy and fit force. MCM coordinates with the military Services, Joint Staff, and the Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support on all aspects of the annual Seasonal Influenza Program.

Infectious Diseases

MCM develops vaccine use policies to counter infectious diseases including:

  • smallpox,
  • anthrax
  • adenovirus

They also ensure the latest, safest and most effective preventive measures are in place to address unique region-specific and common tropical illnesses such as malaria, Japanese Encephalitis and leishmaniasis.

Last Updated: May 19, 2022

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