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Vaccines are among the most important accomplishments in medicine. They have saved more lives around the world than any other medical invention, including antibiotics or surgery. Only clean water has saved more lives than vaccines. Disease threats are everywhere, throughout life – from birth, to daycare and school entry, to military recruit training, to adult life, to deployment, and into retirement. Diseases can spread person-to-person, through consuming contaminated food or water, from the bite of an infected mosquito, and other ways. Vaccines provide a safe and effective means of countering the threats to personal health and military readiness. 

Flu Overview 

Influenza or “flu” is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can potentially result in hospitalization or death. A yearly flu vaccination is the best way to reduce influenza illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed attendance at work or school, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The seasonal influenza vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be the most likely to spread and cause illness among people during the influenza season. The Food and Drug Administration makes the final decision about vaccine viruses included in influenza vaccines in the United States.   

Communication Goals 

This toolkit provides communicators across the Military Health System (MHS) with important information about the flu vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and TRICARE to share with patients and health care professionals.

Educate beneficiaries, civilians, contractors, volunteers, and MHS and Department of Defense (DOD) health care providers and staff on the importance of vaccines. 

Equip MHS and DOD health care providers and staff with information and resources needed to direct the successful distribution of the flu vaccine. 

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