Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Annual flu vaccine remains a health priority during COVID-19 era

Military personnel getting flu shot Navy Rear Adm. Anne Swap, National Capital Region director, receives her annual influenza vaccine at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. She accompanied Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, to the facility as he, too, received his annual flu shot.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

Active duty service members who received the flu vaccination anywhere other than a military treatment facility should follow their service rules to ensure the flu shot is annotated in their health records.

With the novel coronavirus still in circulation, "We don't know how this flu season will impact us," said Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place, director of the Defense Health Agency. "We do know that getting your influenza vaccine is a critical step to keep you and your family healthy."

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. It can be spread to others up to about 6 feet away, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu is spread mainly by droplets from sick people when they cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, or they might be inhaled into the lungs.

The flu can be associated with serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths ­ particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people of all ages with certain chronic medical conditions.

As the CDC notes, flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.

Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place getting his flu vaccine
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, receives his flu vaccine at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. 

An annual flu vaccination is mandatory for active-duty service members, notes Dr. Jay Montgomery, medical director of the Defense Health Agency's Immunization Healthcare Division North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub. He and other health care experts recommend that, generally, everyone six months and older should also get it.

"Adding influenza vaccination to social distancing and masking will lower your risk of contracting two potentially serious respiratory diseases close together – which could very much worsen your outcome," Montgomery said.

"Getting the vaccine also means you're also less likely to potentially expose yourself to COVID-19 by sitting in an urgent care facility or emergency room waiting to have your flu symptoms treated," he added.

Children should be immunized even if schools don’t fully reopen, Montgomery said. "School isn't the only place where children can come in contact with viruses and bacteria that cause them to get sick," he said. "Playgrounds and grocery stores are also examples of exposure locations."

In the Department of Defense, the services annually review and vote on the list for vaccine flu distribution. Priority goes to overseas locations, ships afloat, and deployed personnel. When those locations are fulfilled, distribution is prioritized by each individual service for delivery to their locations in the continental United States, in support of all active and reserve locations. 

When the vaccine arrives at a military medical treatment facility, the commander of the installation has the authority to determine priority for receiving it. Learn more about DoD flu vaccine availability on the Military Health System website.

If you want to get a flu shot before it’s available at your MTF, the vaccine is covered by TRICARE with no cost-shares or copayments as long as it's administered by a pharmacist at a participating network pharmacy or by a TRICARE-authorized provider. Learn more about the TRICARE benefit and the flu vaccine at the TRICARE website.

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 2 – February/March 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Heat injuries among U.S. military members, 2007; Update: Malaria among U.S. military members, 2007; Exertional rhabdomyolysis among U.S. military members, 2004-2007; Exercise-associated hyponatremia due to excessive water consumption, U.S. military members, 1999-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-March 2008; Surveillance Snapshot: Transition to new smallpox vaccine (ACAM2000™); Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, March 2006-March 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through February 2006 and February 2007.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 10 – December 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Frequencies, rates, and trends of use of diagnostic codes indicative of traumatic brain injury (TBI), July 1999-June 2008; Non-traumatic acute kidney injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2001-September 2008; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, November 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, December 2006-December 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through November 2007 and November 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 7 – September 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Syncope after immunization by injection, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Uses of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) procedures, U.S. Armed Forces, Active Component, 2006-2007; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of notifiable medical conditions among active component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, August 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through August 2007 and August 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, September 2006-September 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 1 – January 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Hospitalizations for assault-related injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1998-June 2007; Pneumonia/influenza hospitalization risk in relation to state of residence prior to military service, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-December 2007; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, January 2006-January 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers for calendar years 2006 and 2007; IN THE NEXT MSMR: Diagnoses and reports of malaria, by month of clinical presentation/diagnosis, U.S. Armed Forces, 2006-2007.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 5 – June 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Pneumonia-influenza and severe acute respiratory illnesses, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1997-April 2008; Allergic rhinitis, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, May 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through May 2007 and May 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, June 2006-June 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 8 – October 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cold weather-related injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2003-June 2008; Clinically significant carbon monoxide poisoning, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 1998 - June 2008; Variation across evaluation sites in clinical referrals of service members after returning from deployment, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through September 2007 and September 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, September 2006-September 2008; Notice to readers: New surveillance case definition for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 6 – July/August 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Updates: routine screening for antibodies to HIV-1 among civilian applicants for U.S. Military Service; U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, active and reserve components; U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Active Duty; Occupational bloodborne pathogen exposure, medical personnel, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through July 2007 and July 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, August 2006- August 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 3 – April 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among members of active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007; Ambulatory visits among members of active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007; Reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, April 2006-April 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 15 No. 9 – November 2008

Report
1/1/2008

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Eye injuries among members of active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2007; Incident diagnoses of Malignant Melanoma, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1998-June 2008; Update: Deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, October 2008; Sentinel reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, cumulative numbers through October 2007 and October 2008; Acute respiratory disease, basic training centers, U.S. Army, October 2006-October 2008; Surveillance Snapshot: Alcohol abuse among teenaged military members; Surveillance Snapshot: Influenza immunizations, September 2006-April 2008.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Vaccine Use in Military Basic Trainees

Presentation
12/12/2007

Vaccine Use in Military Basic Trainees presented to the Defense Health Board December 12, 2007

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Recommendations

Report
10/4/2007

Defense Health Board: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Recommendations

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

Recommendations on Southern Hemisphere Influenza for US Forces

Report
10/4/2007

Defense Health Board: Recommendations on Southern Hemisphere Influenza for US Forces

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

Report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Heath

Report
6/1/2007

Defense Health Board: Report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Heath

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Deployment Health

Vaccine Health Centers

Presentation
5/3/2007

Vaccine Health Centers briefing for the Defense Health Board May 3, 2007

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Public Health | Health Readiness

DoD Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

Presentation
5/3/2007

DoD Pandemic Influenza Preparedness briefing for the Defense Health Board May 3, 2007

Recommended Content:

Public Health
<< < ... 61 62 63 64 65  ... > >> 
Showing results 946 - 960 Page 64 of 73

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.