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...

Ready, set, focus: Finding calm in a storm through the power of breathing

Article
4/23/2018
Airmen and Soldiers practice breathing and relaxation during their off duty time in a deployed location. Stress can take its toll on your mental and physical health, including your heart health, but there are breathing techniques to buffer yourself from it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

‘Mindful minutes’ and deep breathing help on the job, airmen say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Health Readiness

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

There were a total of 2,163 incident cases of heat illness among active component service members, including 464 cases of heat stroke and 1,699 cases of heat exhaustion.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/13/2018
Rhabdomyolysis

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Cardiovascular Diseases

Infographic
4/4/2018
At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD among active component (AC) service members and provides estimates of the incidence rates of major categories of cardiovascular diseases themselves.

At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Mental Health Problems

Infographic
4/4/2018
This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Global Influenza Summary: April 1, 2018

Report
4/1/2018

Recommended Content:

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

Advice for healthy older adults: Get the new shingles vaccine

Article
3/29/2018
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Luis Echevarria draws up the new vaccine for shingles at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida.  Shingrix is recommended for healthy adults 50 and older even if they’ve already had shingles or received the previous shingles vaccine. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Sippel)

Rash can recur, cause long-term pain

Recommended Content:

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Immunization Healthcare

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

Article
3/27/2018
A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health

Global Influenza Summary: March 25, 2018

Report
3/25/2018

Recommended Content:

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

Global Influenza Summary: March 18, 2018

Report
3/18/2018

Recommended Content:

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

Global Influenza Summary: March 11, 2018

Report
3/11/2018

Recommended Content:

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

Pediatric care in the military rated 'excellent' but can improve

Article
2/27/2018
Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Military Health System Review Report

Focus on prevention … not the cure for heart disease

Article
2/21/2018
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cecily Dye is chief cardiologist at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas N. Lopez)

Many heart health problems can be avoided

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

‘Kissing disease’ exhausting, but it strikes only once

Article
2/15/2018
Mononucleosis is nicknamed the “kissing disease” because it’s spread through saliva. U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Michael Zegarra shares the traditional first kiss with his wife Caterina Zegarra, after the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz pulled into port at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington, Dec. 10, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Greg Hall)

Mononucleosis: Learn how virus spreads, who’s most vulnerable

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 48

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.