Back to Top Skip to main content

Vaccination is the best defense against the flu

Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its complications and getting an annual influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight) Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its complications and getting an annual influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

SAN ANTONIO – The recent Influenza Awareness Week, Dec. 2-8 educates military personnel about the potential impacts of influenza, or the flu, on the Department of Defense mission and Force Health Protection Readiness.

Army Col. Tammy K. Mayer, Consultant for Army Public Health Nursing and Health Promotion for the U.S. Army Surgeon General said, ”The more that the community knows about flu prevention the better. Stopping the spread of influenza allows us to stay healthy and avoid missing school or work. We are fortunate to have a vaccine to help us in the fight against this deadly disease.”

Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its complications and getting an annual influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. 

Vaccination is needed every year because the Influenza viruses change every few years and scientists continue to monitor which viruses are circulating, and change the ingredients in influenza vaccines to match them. 

How well the influenza vaccine works (or its ability to prevent influenza illness) can range widely from season to season. The vaccine’s effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. 

The two main factors in the effectiveness of the vaccine is the health of the patient and the match between the influenza viruses that the influenza vaccine is designed to protect against and the influenza viruses spreading in the community. 

“Each year, the flu vaccine must be reformulated to ensure it is effective. It’s a complex process and can take several months to research and then manufacture the vaccine. Currently there is research underway to develop a universal flu vaccine that provides improved protection against more subtypes of the virus. It may also eliminate the need to get a flu shot every year. There is also ongoing research to reduce the time to manufacture and develop the vaccine from months to weeks,” said Mayer.

“The Army takes flu prevention seriously because of the potential impact of an outbreak on individual and unit readiness. The vaccine is mandatory for service members and strongly encouraged for all other beneficiaries. Most people can recover from the flu by staying home and resting. This also helps to stop the spread of flu” said Mayer. 

Patients without access to a military treatment facility can get the influenza vaccine from a participating retail network pharmacy or their health care provider. Active Duty Service members should follow their service policy for getting vaccinated and making sure it’s recorded.

Annual influenza vaccination is mandatory for civilian healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care and highly recommended for all other hospital employees who work in DoD facilities.

Pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness and complications if infected with the influenza virus. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that pregnant women with continued concerns or questions about the influenza vaccination should discuss these with their healthcare provider in order to make an informed decision regarding vaccination.

For those who feel the vaccine may make them sick, Mayer recommends understanding their concerns.

“Everyone who presents for a flu shot will be screened to make sure it’s safe for them to receive the vaccine. I try to help people understand the science behind vaccine development and how the body develops immunity. I also share that there are many other precautions in stopping the spread of the flu and other illnesses, including good washing, cough etiquette, and staying home when you are sick,” said Mayer.

Like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and resolve on their own within 24-48 hours. More serious adverse events are rare. Some children should not get certain vaccines for medical reasons, while others should receive more vaccines due to high-risk medical conditions.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

BACH Civilian earns RHC-A Civilian of the Year

Article
6/26/2020
Soldier and woman standing by two flags, crossed.

[Guidry] will advance to the U.S. Army’s Medical Command (MEDCOM) Civilian of the Year competition later this year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

NMCSD Civilian Receives BUMED Civilian Biomedical Technician of the Year Award

Article
6/24/2020
Technician wearing mask, adjusting medical equipment

Navy identifies its top Civilian biomedical technician of the year!

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Navy Care virtual health app wins innovation award

Article
6/12/2020
Soldier in front of a computer monitor

Navy Care offers a live, virtual visit with a clinician — from the patient's smartphone, laptop, or computer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

WRNMMC Operates Drive-Up Immunization Clinic

Article
6/3/2020
Nurse giving a shot to a girl; both wearing masks

Parents and others (are encouraged) to maintain their immunization health during COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 6 - June 2020

Report
6/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Letter to the editor: G6PD deficiency in the Tafenoquine era; Summary of the 2018–2019 influenza season among Department of Defense service members and other beneficiaries; Brief report: Direct care cost of heat illness to the Army, 2016–2018; Animal-related injuries in veterinary services personnel, U.S. Army, 2001–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Recommendations for Mass Immunization Events During Pandemic Conditions

Fact Sheet
5/27/2020

During pandemic conditions, planners of mass immunization events need to consider additional measures to minimize risk of COVID-19 or similar infectious disease transmission.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare

Brooke AMC stands up new Strategic Trauma Readiness Center

Article
5/26/2020
Three surgeons discussing a patient on an operating table

What makes STaRC truly unique is its comprehensive assessment plan

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 5 - May 2020

Report
5/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, recruit trainees, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Medical evacuations out of the U.S. Central Command, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, deployed active and reserve component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, non-service member beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2019; Prevalence of selected underlying health conditions among active component Army service members with coronavirus disease 2019, 11 February–6 April 2020; Early use of ICD-10-CM code “U07.1, COVID-19” to identify 2019 novel coronavirus cases in Military Health System administrative data.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

CDC maintains childhood immunization guidelines during COVID-19

Article
5/1/2020
A child receives a vaccine during a visit to the clinic.

What you need to know about getting your child vaccinated

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Immunization Tool Kit 9th Edition

Publication
4/30/2020

A practical reference that facilitates and enhances the global delivery of quality immunization healthcare to Department of Defense (DoD) beneficiaries and employees. The Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division (DHA-IHD) publishes the Immunization Tool Kit based on national recommendations, evidenced-based, peer-reviewed published medical literature, and clinical practice guidelines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare

Amid COVID-19, seasonal influenza still a threat to force readiness

Article
4/29/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a flu shot to a navy officer.

New Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine available May 2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Influenza Summary and Reports | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 4 - April 2020

Report
4/22/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Commentary: The Warrior Heat- and Exertion-Related Event Collaborative and the Fort Benning Heat Center; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2019; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2015–2019; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004–2019

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

FDA withdrawal of Zantac affects military health beneficiaries

Article
4/15/2020
Image of pharmacist counting out medication

Common heartburn drug pulled off shelves amid concerns

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Military medical training continues during COVID-19

Article
4/14/2020
Students and instructors in the METC Respiratory Therapist program practice safe distancing and wear face coverings while training with mechanical ventilators. (Photo by Oscar Lopez)

METC’s mission - to train the world's finest medics, corpsmen and technicians - is vital to force readiness and the nation.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 4 - APR 2020

Report
4/2/2020

As of 1 APR, 186,101 total confirmed COVID-19 cases (3,603 deaths) have been reported in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Current hot spots include NY, NJ, LA, CA, GA, FL, SC, and Guam. Confirmed COVID-19 cases are rapidly accelerating in the U.S., an increase expected due to amplified testing capacity and ongoing community spread. As of 1 APR, CDC is reporting widespread transmission of COVID-19 in 25 (+12) U.S. states and Guam.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 41

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.