Back to Top Skip to main content

Immunization research supports warrior care, force readiness

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brett Friebel prepares a flu shot for a patient at Naval Branch Health Clinic Mayport’s immunizations clinic. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel) Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brett Friebel prepares a flu shot for a patient at Naval Branch Health Clinic Mayport’s immunizations clinic. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations | Warrior Care

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Vaccinations have played a prominent role in U.S. military history. George Washington ordered smallpox vaccine for his soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Nearly 90 percent of the deaths of soldiers during that time were caused by disease, with smallpox being one of the most prominent. It was said that more American soldiers died of smallpox than from battlefield injuries, and Washington’s plan to defeat smallpox played an important role in the ultimate victory of his army.

Vaccination remains a vital tool for U.S. forces. The Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Immunization Healthcare Branch (IHB) is a premier, responsive, patient-centered organization that promotes excellence in immunization health care for service members and beneficiaries. IHB also supports Force Health Protection and Readiness by developing and promoting programs, services and research that enhance immunization effectiveness, safety and acceptability. With the ever-present threat of disease to service members abroad and within the U.S., providing evidence-based solutions that improve immunization health care is imperative.

“Given that the DoD mandates many vaccines as part of our force health protection and readiness requirements, we have a duty to ensure the vaccines we develop are not only safe, but also effective for our troops,” said Dr. Bruce McClenathan, regional medical director for IHB at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “In addition, we seek to eliminate any unnecessary immunizations, as well as reducing the costs.”

 “Within the history of the DoD, research and vaccines have been critical to our military members," said Dr. Limone Collins, an allergy and immunology physician and chief of the Vaccine Safety and Evaluation Section at the IHB Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. “Other than clean water and sewage, vaccines have done more to improve public health - not just within the DoD - but nationally. Vaccines have played a critical role in providing protection for us.”

Although U.S. military physicians and researchers have collaborated in the development of vaccines for influenza, rubella and typhoid fever, Collins emphasized our armed forces have had a long history of involvement with vaccines against infectious diseases. “For more than 200 years, our military has been actively engaged in vaccine research, and made many contributions to the development of products for use in disease prevention and control,” he said.

During World War I, Army Surgeon General William Gorgas convened a series of commissions to gather the best civilian and military input for ongoing and recurring infectious disease problems. In 1918, a pneumonia commission was formed, and in 1941 the Army established the Board for the Investigation and Control of Influenza and Other Epidemic Diseases in the Army, which was renamed the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) in 1949.

IHB will continue to conduct research and provide valuable input regarding immunization effectiveness and safety to enhance force health protection and readiness. IHB researchers will ensure that vaccines are safe, effective and properly utilized to protect service members. With the advancement of research techniques, we are now able to conduct clinical studies dedicated to understanding diversity in immune responses to certain vaccines when they are delivered to large populations,” said McClenathan. “These studies hold enormous potential for improving the quality of care, and reducing the possibility of adverse events following immunization.”

You also may be interested in...

Let's talk about sex, occupational therapist says

Article
11/22/2017
Occupational therapist Kathryn Ellis meets with a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (Courtesy photo)

Silence on topic no help to wounded warriors

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Global Influenza Summary: November 19, 2017

Report
11/19/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Brain injury sufferers find benefits in music therapy program

Article
11/17/2017
Army Staff Sgt. Sean Young, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment training room noncommissioned officer, strums the guitar during music therapy with Danielle Kalseth, 673rd Medical Operations Squadron creative arts and music therapist, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Music therapy sessions help rehabilitate patients with traumatic brain injury. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

For people with TBI, music therapy can be instrumental to rehabilitation

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury

Things that make you go ‘om’: Meditation for healthy living

Article
11/15/2017
A soldier with the 160th Signal Brigade meditates before duty at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Margaret Taylor)

Researchers say brain changes may lead to long-term benefits

Recommended Content:

Integrative Wellness | Human Performance Resource Center | Warrior Care

Injured Marine fulfills dream of learning to surf

Article
11/7/2017
Marine Corps Cpl. Leighton Anderson surfs a closed out wave during the Naval Medical Center San Diego surf therapy clinic in Del Mar, California. Participation in the therapy clinic for patients like Leighton is medically appointed, and its many benefits include pain management and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Naval Medical Center San Diego's Wounded, Ill and Injured Wellness division offers a surfing clinic

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

The gift of a kidney bolsters bond between classmates

Article
11/6/2017
West Point classmates Chris Connelly (left) and Air Force Col. Dave Ashley feel well enough to pose for a photo the day after Ashley donated a kidney to Connelly. (Courtesy photo)

MHS supports officer in living organ donation

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

We have the technology: 3-D printing takes wounded warriors to a new dimension

Article
11/2/2017
Peter Liacouras is director of the 3-D Medical Applications Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Center at Walter Reed designs, produces custom-made items

Recommended Content:

Technology | Warrior Care

Life with Lizzy

Article
11/1/2017
Army Master Sgt. Leigh Michel gets a kiss from her service dog Lizzy. (U.S. Army photo by Whitney Delbridge Nichels)

How a service dog is helping one combat veteran reconnect

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Warrior Care Month: Honoring our Nation's Heroes

Article
10/31/2017
Command Sergeant Major Robert Luciano, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Defense Health Agency

The Military Health System celebrates the resiliency, achievements, and commitment of our warfighters, as well as their families and caregivers, throughout the Warrior Care Month

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Surveillance Snapshot: Influenza Immunization among U.S. Armed Forces Healthcare Workers, August 2012 – April 2017

Infographic
10/31/2017
Did you know …?  During the 2016 – 2017 influenza season, each of the three services attained greater than 94% compliance among healthcare personnel. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all healthcare personnel be vaccinated against influenza to protect themselves and their patients. The Joint Commission requires that healthcare organizations have influenza vaccination programs for practitioners and staff, and that they work toward the goal of 90 percent receipt of influenza vaccine. This snapshot of a five-year surveillance period (August 2012 – April 2017) shows  that the active component healthcare personnel of the Army, Navy, and Air Force has exceeded the percentage compliance with influenza immunization requirement in each year. •	Line graph showing the percentage of healthcare specialists and officers with records of influenza vacation by influenza year (1 August through 30 April) and service, active, U.S. Armed Forces, August 2012 – April 2017 displays. Access the full snapshot in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 10 October 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR There are two photos featured on the infographic: 1.	A service member being vaccinated with the flu vaccine displays  2.	A photo of vaccine administrators shows.

This snapshot of a five-year surveillance period (August 2012 – April 2017) details influenza immunization compliance among the active component healthcare personnel of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Seasonal

Global Influenza Summary: October 29, 2017

Report
10/29/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Global Influenza Summary: October 22, 2017

Report
10/22/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Global Influenza Summary: October 15, 2017

Report
10/15/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

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

Global Influenza Summary: October 8, 2017

Report
10/8/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 49

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.