Back to Top Skip to main content

MHS immunization experts will answer questions about flu vaccine

Soldier giving another soldier a flu shot A hospital corpsman prepares a sailor's arm before administering a vaccine at the Navy Medical Readiness and Training Command, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, immunization clinic. (Photo by Macy Hinds)

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Public Health | Coronavirus

Active duty service members who received the flu vaccination anywhere other than a military treatment facility should follow their service rules to ensure the flu shot is annotated in their health records.

With influenza season arriving while the coronavirus is still in circulation, health care experts are worried about the potential for a perfect storm of illness. That's why experts within the Military Health System are stating that it's more important than ever this year to get the seasonal flu vaccine.

Three Military Health System immunization experts will answer beneficiaries' questions about the flu vaccine during a "Chat with TRICARE" real-time event, 3 to 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 17, on the TRICARE Facebook page.

Participating are Air Force Col. (Dr.) Tonya S. Rans, chief of the Immunization Healthcare Division; Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ruth Brenner, deputy chief of the division; and Ann Morse, a family nurse practitioner and registered nurse at IHD’s North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub’s Satellite Office, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia.

"Adding influenza vaccination to social distancing and masking will lower your risk of contracting two potentially serious respiratory diseases close together – which could very much worsen your outcome," said Dr. Jay Montgomery, medical director of the IHD's North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub.

"Getting the vaccine also means you're less likely to potentially expose yourself to COVID-19 by sitting in an urgent-care facility or emergency room waiting to have your flu symptoms treated," he said.

An annual flu vaccine is mandatory for all active-duty service members, Montgomery noted. He and other health care experts recommend that, generally, everyone 6 months and older should get it.

"The flu can be associated with serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths," Montgomery said, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people of all ages with certain chronic medical conditions.

Children should be immunized even if schools don’t fully re-open, Montgomery said. "School isn't the only place where children can come in contact with viruses and bacteria that cause them to get sick," he said. "Playgrounds and grocery stores are also examples of exposure locations."

Providers' offices and immunization clinics have taken steps to protect people from COVID-19 exposure while getting a flu shot, Montgomery added. Those steps include modified appointment scheduling, physical distancing, and frequent cleaning of surfaces.

Brenner, the division's deputy chief, said the flu vaccine is likely to be available at military medical treatment facilities starting at the end of September. Supplies will continue on a rolling basis throughout the fall and winter. Beneficiaries should check with their provider or immunization clinic to be sure the vaccine is available before going to the MTF. This step will reduce unnecessary visits.

For beneficiaries interested in participating in the live Q&A, MHS experts offer the following guidelines:

  • Don't post personally identifiable information.
  • Don't refer to any specific health conditions or names of other individuals.
  • Stay on topic, be respectful, and tell the truth.
  • Add value to the conversation.
  • Don't spam by sending irrelevant or unsolicited messages.

More information about participating in the live chat can be found on the MHS social media webpage.

You also may be interested in...

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine at Civilian Pharmacies

Publication
3/9/2021

YOU CAN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE FROM ANY CIVILIAN PHARMACY AT NO CHARGE, EVEN NON-NETWORK PHARMACIES, BUT HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Access to COVID-19 Vaccine for Members of the Selected Reserve (SELRES)

Publication
3/2/2021

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Printable VAX Fact Should Children Get the COVID Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Will TRICARE Cover the COVID Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Getting COVID and Flu Vaccine at Once

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Can I Get COVID-19 From the Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact How Many Doses of the Vaccine Will I Get?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Who Can Get the Vaccine Now?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact How Much will the COVID-19 Vaccine Cost?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact When can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Where can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Do I Have to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Printable VAX Fact Do I Still Need to Wear a Facemask After I'm Vaccinated?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Publication
1/5/2021

This toolkit provides communicators across the Military Health System (MHS) with important information about the COVID-19 prevention and vaccination from the CDC to share with patients and health care professionals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Toolkit

COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit

Publication
1/5/2021

These messages are provided for you to use on your platforms with any of the images from the COVID-19 Toolkit.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 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.