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

Annual flu vaccine remains a health priority during COVID-19 era

Image of Military personnel getting flu shot. Navy Rear Adm. Anne Swap, National Capital Region director, receives her annual influenza vaccine at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. She accompanied Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, to the facility as he, too, received his annual flu shot.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

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 the novel coronavirus still in circulation, "We don't know how this flu season will impact us," said Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place, director of the Defense Health Agency. "We do know that getting your influenza vaccine is a critical step to keep you and your family healthy."

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. It can be spread to others up to about 6 feet away, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu is spread mainly by droplets from sick people when they cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, or they might be inhaled into the lungs.

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

As the CDC notes, flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.

Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place getting his flu vaccine
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, receives his flu vaccine at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. 

An annual flu vaccination is mandatory for active-duty service members, notes Dr. Jay Montgomery, medical director of the Defense Health Agency's Immunization Healthcare Division North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub. He and other health care experts recommend that, generally, everyone six months and older should also get it.

"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," Montgomery said.

"Getting the vaccine also means you're also 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 added.

Children should be immunized even if schools don’t fully reopen, 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."

In the Department of Defense, the services annually review and vote on the list for vaccine flu distribution. Priority goes to overseas locations, ships afloat, and deployed personnel. When those locations are fulfilled, distribution is prioritized by each individual service for delivery to their locations in the continental United States, in support of all active and reserve locations. 

When the vaccine arrives at a military medical treatment facility, the commander of the installation has the authority to determine priority for receiving it. Learn more about DoD flu vaccine availability on the Military Health System website.

If you want to get a flu shot before it’s available at your MTF, the vaccine is covered by TRICARE with no cost-shares or copayments as long as it's administered by a pharmacist at a participating network pharmacy or by a TRICARE-authorized provider. Learn more about the TRICARE benefit and the flu vaccine at the TRICARE website.

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 9 No. 5 – July/August 2003

Report
1/1/2003

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), antibody screening among active and reserve component soldiers and civilian applicants for military service, 1985-June 2003; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Army medical treatment facilities, 1995-2002; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Naval medical treatment facilities, 1998-2002; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Air Force medical treatment facilities, 1998-2002; Pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-July 2003; ARD Surveillance Update; Sentinel Reportable Events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 9 No. 1– January 2003

Report
1/1/2003

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, 2002; Mortality Trends among Active Duty Military Personnel, 1992-2001; ARD Surveillance Update; Reportable events, calendar year 2002; Sentinel Reportable Events, calendar year 2002.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 9 No. 6 – September/October 2003

Report
1/1/2003

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Incidence, severity, and trends of pneumonia/influenza and acute respiratory failure/pulmonary insufficiency, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1990-June 2003; Carbon monoxide poisoning, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1998-June 2003; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces; ARD surveillance update; Active duty force strength by medical treatment facility locations, U.S. Army.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 9 No. 4 – May/June 2003

Report
1/1/2003

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Heat-related injuries, U.S. Army, 2002; Syncope, active duty, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2002; Pre-and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002- June 2003; ARD Surveillance Update; Sentinel Reportable Events; Correction: Sentinel Reportable Events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 2 – March/April 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active duty personnel; Ambulatory visits among active duty personnel; Reportable medical events among active duty personnel; Acute respiratory disease surveillance, U.S. Army; Relative burdens of selected illnesses and injuries; Characteristics of active duty personnel.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 4 – June 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Heat-associated injuries, U.S. Army 1991-2002; Hematuria among active duty members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2000; ARD surveillance update; Sentinel reportable events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 7 – September/October 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cold weather injuries among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, January 1997-July 2002; Cellulitis among active duty service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2001; Installation specific lost duty time reports: hospitalization and ambulatory encounters at the installation level - overall experience of the U.S. Army, August 2002; Sentinel reportable events; Varicella among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, October 1999-September 2002; and ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 8 – November/December 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Alcohol disorders among active duty members, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1998 - March 2002; Frequency and nature of exposure concerns following recent major deployments: analyses of post-deployment questionnaire responses, October 1998 - July 2002; Legionnaires’ disease in a laboratory worker at a medical treatment facility, September 2002; ARD surveillance update and Sentinel reportable events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 6 – August 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Incidence rates and correlates of risk of herpes zoster, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2001; Rates and patterns of readmission after discharge from U.S. military hospitals, 2001; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 5– July 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Urinary tract infections among active duty members, U.S. Armed Forces,1998-2002; ARD surveillance update; Pre- and post deployment health status assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2002; Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), antibody screening among active and reserve component soldiers and civilian applicants for military service, 1985-June 2002; Sentinel reportable events; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Army medical treatment facilities, 1995-2001; Completeness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Air Force medical treatment facilities, 1998-2001; Completeness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Naval medical treatment facilities, 1998-2001; Active duty force strength by military treatment facility, U.S. Army, April 2002; Update: group C meningococcal disease outbreak, Ft. Wood, MO.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 3 – May 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, 2001; ARD surveillance update; Sentinel reportable events; Serogroup C meningococcal disease outbreak- Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, 2002.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 1 – January/February 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Spontaneous ruptures of the achilles tendon,U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2001; Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1, screening compliance among active duty service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001; Rapidly successive hospitalizations for mental disorders, active duty service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1991-2001; Sentinel Reportable Events; Reportable events, calendar year 2001; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 5 – May/June 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Diagnoses of Clinical Obesity, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2000; Completeness and Timeliness of Reporting of Hospitalized Notifiable Cases, U.S. Army, 2000; Acute Side Effects of Anthrax Vaccine in ROTC Cadets Participating In Advanced Camp, Fort Lewis, 2000; Sentinel Reportable Events; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 4 – April 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active duty personnel; Ambulatory visits among active duty personnel; Reportable medical events among active duty personnel; Relative burdens of selected illnesses and injuries; Acute respiratory disease surveillance; Characteristics of active duty personnel.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 8 – September/October 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Disease and nonbattle injury surveillance among deployed U.S. Armed Forces: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Southwest Asia, July 2000-September 2001; Monthly installation injury surveillance reports: surveillance of injuries and their impacts at the installation level, U.S. Armed Forces; Sentinel Reportable Events; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health
<< < ... 16 17 18 19 20 > >> 
Showing results 226 - 240 Page 16 of 20
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 01, 2021

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.