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...

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

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

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

Global Influenza Summary: October 1, 2017

Report
10/1/2017

Recommended Content:

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

Global Influenza Summary: September 3, 2017

Report
9/3/2017

Recommended Content:

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

H7N9: August 30, 2017

Report
8/30/2017

This is a biosurveillance summary of H7N9: August 30, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 30 August 2017, there have been 1,788 (+4) cases of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) since the first two cases were reported in February 2013. Read more:

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Integrated Biosurveillance Summaries

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2016

Report
8/25/2017

CDC provides up-to-date estimated immunization rates among teens using the latest recommended immunization schedules.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine Schedules | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Zika in the Americas: August 16, 2017

Report
8/16/2017

This is a biosurveillance summary of Zika Virus: August 16, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 16 August 2017, there have been 175 cases Zika virus in Military Health System beneficiaries since January 2016. Read more:

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Integrated Biosurveillance Summaries

Improving Defense Health Program Medical Research Processes

Report
8/8/2017

A report from the Defense Health Board (DHB) that summarizes the findings and recommendations from its independent review of Improving Defense Health Program (DHP) Medical Research Processes.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Readiness

H7N9: August 2, 2017

Report
8/2/2017

This is a biosurveillance summary of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Surveillance #80: August 2, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 2 AUG, the total influenza A (H7N9) human case count since the fifth seasonal epidemic of H7N9 began on 1 OCT 2016 is 922 (+3) cases with at least 282 (+23) deaths.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Integrated Biosurveillance Summaries

Global Influenza Summary: July 30, 2017

Report
7/30/2017

Recommended Content:

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

Zika in the Americas: July 12, 2017

Report
7/12/2017

This is a biosurveillance summary of Zika in the Americas as of July 12, 2017. As of 1300 on 12 JUL 2017, there have been 175 (+1) confirmed Zika virus (ZIKV) disease cases (see table) since the first case was reported in JAN 2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Integrated Biosurveillance Summaries

H7N9: July 6, 2017

Report
7/6/2017

This is a biosurveillance summary of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Surveillance #77: July 6, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 6 JUL, the total influenza A (H7N9) human case count since the fifth seasonal epidemic of H7N9 began on 1 OCT 2016 is 919 (+13) cases with at least 269 deaths. Read more:

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Integrated Biosurveillance Summaries
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 23

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.