Back to Top Skip to main content

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...

Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Video
9/17/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine components have been rigorously tested for safety. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Video
9/12/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Vaccines that prevent measles do not cause autism. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella | Autism Care Demonstration

Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself and your family from deadly diseases, but it also saves the lives to those who don’t have the immune system to fend for themselves. The Military Health System shares the stories of families with children who are at risk when others aren’t immunized.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Analia

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Analia

Cancer left 5-year-old Analia Pages unable to get vaccinated. Her father, Master Sgt. Edward Pages, has to take extra steps to protect her from diseases she’s susceptible to.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

10-year-old Tatiana Rosario has a weakened immune system as a result of her cancer treatment. Growing up, she and her family made sacrifices to keep her safe from disease.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Barbara’s son Floriann grew up with an immune dysregulation. A Uniformed Services University pathology professor, she’s experienced first hand the importance of vaccines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

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.

Vaccines: A public health success story

Article
8/7/2019
Tech Sgt. Joseph Anthony, medical technician with the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, administers a vaccination to a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 336 Engineering Company Command and Control, Chemical Radiological and Nuclear Response Enterprise Team at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, April 11, 2019. Department of Defense-issued vaccinations are used to prevent a variety of diseases that military members may encounter in the course of their duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

Maintaining a medically ready force is just one of many reasons to vaccinate

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Medical helps prevent the flu amongst service members through teamwork

Article
2/15/2019
Members of DLA Troop Support Medical supply chain and DLA Distribution pose for a photo at an after action review for the Department of Defense’s Influenza Vaccination Program at Fort Detrick, Maryland Feb. 5, 2019. The Medical supply chain made approximately 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine available at military treatment facilities and U.S. Navy Fleet clinics around the world in support of the DOD’s Influenza Vaccination Program. (DoD photo by Alexander Quiñones)

The Medical supply chain made approximately 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine available

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations | Combat Support

Vaccination is the best defense against the flu

Article
12/10/2018
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 needed every year because the Influenza viruses change

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

WRAIR begins Phase 1 clinical trial of Marburg vaccine

Article
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

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

Preparing for travel can prevent illness

Article
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

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Immunizations | Summer Safety

Department of Defense Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program’s Influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and surveillance trends, 2016 – 2017 Influenza Season

Infographic
2/5/2018
Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program performs surveillance for influenza among service members of the DoD and their dependent family members. In addition to routine surveillance, vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies are performed and results are shared with the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization for vaccine evaluation. This report documents the annual surveillance trends for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season and the end-of-season VE results. The analysis was performed by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Laboratory, and the DoD Influenza Surveillance Program staff at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. FINDINGS: A total of 5,555 specimens were tested from 84 locations: •	2,486 (44.7%) negative •	1,382 (24.9%) influenza A •	1,093 (19.7%) other respiratory pathogens •	443 (8.0%) influenza B •	151 (2.7%) co-infections The predominant influenza strain was A (H3N2), representing 73.8% of all circulating influenza. Pie chart displays this information. Graph showing the numbers and percentages of respiratory specimens positive for influenza viruses, and numbers of influenza viruses identified, by type, by surveillance week, Department of Defense healthcare beneficiaries, 2016 – 2017 influenza season displays. The vaccine effectiveness (VE) for this season was slightly lower than for the 2015 – 2016 season, which had a 63% (95% confidence interval: 53% - 71%) adjusted VE. The adjusted VE for the 2016 – 2017 season was 48% protective against all types of influenza.  Access the full report in the January 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25, No. 1). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR

This infographic documents the annual surveillance trends for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season and the end-of-season vaccine effectiveness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Influenza Summary and Reports | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Influenza Seasonal | Immunizations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Force Health Protection

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

Article
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

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Immunizations | Children's Health

Don’t give flu a fighting chance; get the flu shot

Article
10/10/2017
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Gerich Curtom (left), administers a flu shot to Builder 2nd Class Charles Scheck at Naval Air Station North Island’s medical clinic. There are many different strains of flu virus, and they can often mutate quickly, presenting a challenge in keeping everyone healthy and maintaining optimal immunity, and making it necessary to get immunized annually. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean P. Lenahan)

Influenza presents a disease threat almost every year, and annual immunization continues to be the best way to avoid that threat

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Seasonal
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

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.