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Immunizations

Vaccines are the main reason for the global eradication of naturally occurring smallpox, and near-eradication of polio and measles in the United States. Vaccines are important tools that:

  • Protect individual health and the overall health of a population.
  • Protect against disease infection and preserve medical readiness
  • Prime the immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria and other threats.

When disease cells invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion is called an infection, and the infection is what causes illness. The immune system then has to fight the infection. Once it fights off the infection, the body is left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future.

How Vaccines Work

Vaccines develop similar immunity without ever presenting an infection, by introducing weakened or dead disease cells into the body that cause the immune system to develop the same response it does by infection. You may have minor side effects, such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea

Most side effects subside within 24-48 hours and are part of the normal process of building immunity. More serious reactions can occur, but are extremely rare.

Immunization health is a lifelong process – from conception to the golden years, with specific vaccines and schedules indicated for all age-specific populations.  >>View CDC Recommendations

The military, which has historically played a major role in advancing vaccination science, offers an immunization regimen that often leads to greater protection against more diseases for Service members and their families.  Service Members and their families should always consult with their physicians to ensure they receive the appropriate vaccinations at the appropriate times.

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WRAIR begins Phase 1 clinical trial of Marburg vaccine

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10/19/2018
The WRAIR study evaluates the VRC-MARADC087-00-VP vaccine, developed by the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. (U.S. Army file photo)

WRAIR recently administered the first vaccine in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a Marburg vaccine

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Preparing for travel can prevent illness

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7/18/2018
Experts encourage overseas travelers to seek advice from a health care provider before leaving on a trip, and to make sure recommended vaccinations are up to date (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

Experts encourage travelers to be proactive about their travel medicine needs, including learning about the health risks associated with the destination and checking with their doctor to make sure they’re in good health

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Cold and influenza season is underway – and it’s nothing to ‘shake off’

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1/12/2018
Cold and flu season usually runs from October to March, and peaks between December and February. Young children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions have a higher risk for complications. Military Health System experts encourage everyone to take steps to prevent these viral illnesses from spreading. (U.S. Army photo by photo by Rachel Larue)

Military Health System experts share advice on how to prevent, treat, and distinguish between these two viral illnesses

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Drive-Thru Flu Shots

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12/21/2016
Medical staff at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia, immunized nearly 1,200 people recently with their drive-through flu vaccination event. (U.S. Army photo by John Corley)

Medical staff at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia, immunized nearly 1,200 people recently with their drive-through flu vaccination event. (U.S. Army photo by John Corley)

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Back to School Health and Safety Checklist

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Health and Safety Checklist for Back to School

This infographic provides a going back to school health and safety checklist.

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The HPV Vaccine Saves Lives

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5/16/2016
The Defense Department recommends male and female military service members, ages 17-26 years, receive an HPV vaccine series to generate a robust immune response to the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4). This graphic highlights information the benefits of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is most effective among fully vaccinated individuals.   Cancer Prevention Facts •	HPV is the most common sexually  transmitted infection (STI) •	There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas •	Some HPV types give warts •	Some HPV types develop cancer  Effective Against STI Transmission •	The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from the virus •	The HPV vaccine provides nearly 100% protection from HPV types 6,11,16 and 18 •	HPV vaccine shows early signs of success in reducing HPV infections and related illnesses •	Protection is expected to be long-lasting  Safety Tips •	Getting your HPV vaccine and practicing safe sex such as wearing a condom may lower the risk of HPV •	Limiting the number of lifetime sex partners can also lower the risk of HPV •	When given the HPV vaccine, the body makes antibodies in response to the protection to clear it from the body  Get the Facts •	2,091 female service members aged 17-26 years received 1-3 HPV4 doses during 2006-2012, stratified by number of doses (1, 2, or 3).  Get the HPV Vaccine •	Only 22.5% of eligible service members initiated the series •	Of those, only 39.1% completed the full three-dose series as of June 2011.  Even though the 3 dose regiment provides nearly complete protection against HPV16 and HPV18, in the U.S., only 12% and 19% of female adolescents among commercial and Medicaid plans respectively complete the series.  Read HPV Facts from the CDC: https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/IMM_Teens_HPV_Facts.pdf  Read the STI issue of the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at Health.Mil/MSMR   Get the conversation started. Ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine today. Follow us on Twitter @AFHSBPAGE and use hashtag #VaccinesWork.

The Defense Department recommends male and female military service members, ages 17-26 years, receive an HPV vaccine series to generate a robust immune response to the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4).

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Spread the Facts Not Your Germs

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Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus and the most common vaccine-preventable cause of encephalitis in Asia

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Individuals deploying to areas in Pacific Command (PACOM) should be administered the JE vaccine in accordance with the latest PACOM Force Health Protection Guidance.

Guidance on Medications for Prophylaxis of Malaria 13-002

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This document provides guidance and best practices for the chemoprophylaxis (use of medication to prevent malaria) of Service members serving in malaria endemic regions.

Guideline for Tuberculosis Screening and Testing

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Because accessions come from widely diverse geographic backgrounds, the Services should determine the need for tuberculin skin tests for accessions while Service members are at the training base, based on the needs of the specific accessions environment and operational mission requirements. DoD will implement targeted testing rather than universal testing where possible, based on Service-specific mission requirements, for recruits and new accessions, HCWs, recent deployers, and Service members who are retiring.

  • Identification #: 00-memo-2012-04-20
  • Date: 4/20/2012
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Immunizations

Routine Smallpox and Anthrax Immunizations Policies

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12/15/2010

Defense Health Board: Routine Smallpox and Anthrax Immunizations Policies

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Inclusion of the Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

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Defense Health Board: Inclusion of the Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

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Accomplishments and Critical Lessons Learned Regarding Department of Defense H1N1 Influenza Report

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Accomplishments and Critical Lessons Learned Regarding Department of Defense H1N1 Influenza Report briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Nov. 2, 2010

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Measles Mumps Rubella and Smallpox Anthrax Vaccine Recommendations

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8/18/2010

Measles Mumps Rubella and Smallpox Anthrax Vaccine Recommendations briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Aug. 18, 2010

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Inclusion of Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Navy Accessions Screening and Immunizations Program

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Inclusion of Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Navy Accessions Screening and Immunizations Program briefing presented to the Defense Health Board June 8, 2010

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