Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Back-to-school vaccinations in the age of coronavirus

Medical technician wearing a mask, filling an immunization needle Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Stephen Barley, an aerospace medical technician, prepares to help immunize U.S. Army Reserve engineers at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Dalton Smith)

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt everyday routines, including attending school in-person, parents may have questions about their children's back-to-school vaccination requirements. The following Q/A is adapted from a TRICARE Facebook chat with experts in the Defense Health Agency's Immunization Healthcare Division:

Will my children need their immunizations even if school buildings don't reopen?

Children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential services to help ensure children are protected. Children who are not protected by vaccines may be more likely to get diseases such as measles and whooping cough.

Should they still get immunizations if they've been infected with COVID-19?

Routine vaccination should be deferred for those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, regardless of symptoms, until they've met criteria to discontinue isolation. This will help protect health care personnel and other patients to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Will COVID-19 precautions also protect against vaccine-preventable diseases?

Social distancing does not guarantee protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. The risk may be lower, but the viruses are still circulating and can infect children.

Is it safe to take my child to a medical office for a well-child visit?

Call the provider's office and ask about ways they safely offer well-child visits during this time. Many medical offices are taking extra steps to make sure that visits can happen safely during the COVID-19 outbreak, including scheduling sick visits and well-child visits during different times of the day; asking patients to remain outside until it’s time for their appointment to reduce the number of people in waiting rooms; and offering sick visits and well-child visits in different locations.

What should I do if I can’t go to a military medical treatment facility?

If you’re enrolled in TRICARE PrimeA managed care option available in Prime Service Areas in the United States; you have an assigned primary care manager who provides most of your care.TRICARE Prime and your provider can’t provide the care you need, you will be referred to a TRICARE network provider. For all other plans, you can get covered vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider. TRICARE covers covered vaccines at no cost.  But when you get the vaccine from your provider, you may have to pay co-payments or cost-shares for the office visit or for other services received during the office visit.  You can get some covered vaccines at no cost at participating network pharmacies. To find a pharmacy that participates in the vaccine program, search online at the TRICARE website.

Is being up to date on immunizations more important for children of a certain age?

Children younger than age 2 have more frequent appointments and typically receive more vaccines, so they may have fallen further behind during the pandemic than children in other age groups. However, it's important to realize that vaccines require a certain amount of time between doses, called minimum intervals, so it may take multiple visits to get back on track. Work with the child’s health care provider to develop a plan that accounts for both missed doses and appropriate intervals between doses, so that your child is caught up as soon as possible.

If my children are healthy, why do they need vaccines?

If children aren’t vaccinated, they can spread disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and cancer patients. This could result in long-term complications and even death for these vulnerable people.

What is the harm of separating, spacing out or withholding vaccines?

Delaying vaccines can be risky. It increases the timeframe that children are susceptible to certain diseases, some of which are still fairly common.

Why are so many doses needed for each vaccine?

Getting every recommended dose of each vaccine provides the best protection possible. Depending on the vaccine, your child will need more than one dose to build high enough immunity to prevent disease or to boost immunity that fades over time. Your child may also receive more than one dose to make sure they are protected if they did not get immunity from a first dose, or to protect them against germs that change over time, like flu. Every dose is important because each protects against infectious diseases that can be especially serious for infants and very young children.

You also may be interested in...

Maintain Senses 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month showing a service member looking through binoculars

Vision and Hearing Awareness Month. Maintain your senses to be sight and sound ready. Our eyes and ears work together to help us function and communicate. Health vision and hearing ensure service members are able to perform effectively and safely on and off duty.

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Localize Sounds 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on localizing sounds

Localize Sounds

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Localize Sounds 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on localizing sounds

Localize Sounds

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 05 - May 2021

Report
5/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, recruit trainees, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Medical evacuations out of the U.S. Central Command, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, deployed active and reserve component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, non-service member beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Military kids are resilient, but far from immune to pandemic effects

Article
4/28/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask holding up posters for Month of the Military Child

Military children are known for being resilient to constant change, but COVID-19 has affected their mental health, too.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient | Coronavirus

Ten ways parents can help kids make good nutritional choices

Article
4/27/2021
Image of a colorful plate outlining the portions and serving sizes of each type of food.

Nutrition is a key element of Total Force Fitness, but it’s just as important to encourage kids to make smart nutritional choices.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | Nutritional Fitness

Young cancer survivor rings bell signifying treatment end

Article
4/16/2021
Sailor Parker writing her name on a wall sticker

Seven year old girl wins her battle against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health

Be proactive in looking for early signs of testicular cancer

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel giving and examination

While the diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, testicular cancer can usually be cured.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | April | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Immunization Tool Kit 9th Edition

Publication
4/7/2021

A practical reference that facilitates and enhances the global delivery of quality immunization healthcare to Department of Defense (DoD) beneficiaries and employees. The Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division (DHA-IHD) publishes the Immunization Tool Kit based on national recommendations, evidenced-based, peer-reviewed published medical literature, and clinical practice guidelines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Children's Health | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | $name

Month of the Military Child 2021

Video
4/5/2021
DHA Seal

The Defense Health Agency supports military children from around the world during Month of the Military Child 2021.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health

Defense Health Agency celebrating the mighty military child in April

Article
4/2/2021
This April, the DHA will celebrate the mighty military child

On April 1, the DHA launched the “Celebrating the Mighty” global campaign.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | $name

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 04 - April 2021

Report
4/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Disparities in COVID-19 vaccine initiation and completion among active component service members and healthcare personnel, 11 December 2020–12 March 2021; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005–2020; Skin and soft tissue infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2016–September 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Decide + Be Ready: supporting today’s modern service woman

Article
3/23/2021
Picture of three different women with the words "decide and be ready mobile app"

New women’s app ‘Decide + Be Ready’, helps today’s service woman make proactive decisions regarding their contraceptive decisions.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Health Innovation Month
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 43

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.