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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.

You also may be interested in...

DHA IPM 19-006: 2019–2020 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program (IVP)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (o), implementing instructions, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the seasonal influenza vaccination program. • This DHA-IPM cancels and reissues DHA-IPM 18-005. • This DHA-IPM is effective immediately and will expire 12 months from the date of issue.

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

Policy

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

Policy

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

Policy

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
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