Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

DOD recommends adults 75 and older should seek COVID-19 vaccine

Image of Nursing home members, wearing masks, wait in a line to get their COVID vaccine. Armed Forces Retirement Home residents line up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Defense recommends that adults ages 75 and older should now receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of its official Vaccination Program across the United States. The DoD and the Military Health System is encouraging all beneficiaries in that age group to access vaccines through their closest military medical treatment facility. (Photo by Carolyn Haug, Armed Forces Retirement Home.)

The Department of Defense recommends that adults ages 75 and older should now receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of its official Vaccination Program across the United States. The DOD and the Military Health System is encouraging all beneficiaries in that age group to access vaccines through their closest military medical treatment facility (MTF).

Each MTF will determine local processes, and whether appointments are required or walk-ins are accepted. Vaccine availability may vary by location, but beneficiaries will be notified when and where the vaccine becomes available to them. There are more than 1.1 million beneficiaries in the TRICARE for Life (TFL) health plan who need to be aware of this critical recommendation.

This age recommendation differs slightly from that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends vaccinations for those 65 and older.

Health personnel gives elderly gentleman a shot in his left arm Armed Forces Retirement Home resident and WWII veteran Rafael Lopez, 93, prepares to receive one of the first COVID-19 vaccines administered at AFRH on Monday, December 21, 2020. (Photo by Carolyn Haug, Armed Forces Retirement Home.)

“All older adults are at greater risk for becoming critically ill if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. DOD is eager to reach out to this beneficiary population—including those not enrolled at an MTF—and let them know that it’s his or her turn if they so choose,” said Air Force Colonel Tonya Rans, Defense Health Agency’s Chief of the Immunization Healthcare Division. “Offering these safe and effective vaccines through DOD provides another option to those who may not yet have access through their civilian provider or pharmacy.”

There are currently two authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, and each requires two doses to be fully effective. Risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk, and adults 75 and older are at up to eight times higher risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 infection than younger, healthy adults. Further, all COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing the disease.

Additionally, second-dose reminders are critical to achieve optimal vaccine effectiveness. Arrangements for scheduling a second dose and setting a reminder can be made while you are getting your first dose. Importantly, vaccines are NOT interchangeable and a vaccine recipient’s second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose.

A reminder to beneficiaries and other personnel: Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. But even if you have been vaccinated, other COVID-19 safety precautions like masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing should remain in effect until experts better understand the extent of protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on this TRICARE page; and at the CDC website. For more COVID-19 information check the Health.mil website. When misleading information circulates, vaccination coverage can fall and increase the risk for outbreaks.

You also may be interested in...

Infographic
Jul 25, 2023

COVID-19: Underlying Condition List

Graphic explaining the risk of severe illness to COVID-19 under certain medical conditions. Certain underlying medical conditions put you at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death. Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19: Cancer; Chronic kidney disease; COPD; Down Syndrome; Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant; Obesity; Pregnancy; Sickle cell disease; Smoking; or Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Certain underlying medical conditions put you at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.

Infographic
Jul 25, 2023

COVID-19: Increased Risk

You Might be at Increased Risk

COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there are limited data and information about the impact of many underlying medical conditions on the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19: Asthma ...

Infographic
Jun 22, 2023

COVID-19: Reduce Your Risk

Graphic explaining how to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. It is especially important for people with certain underlying medical conditions at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.  The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to: Limit your interactions with other people; Wear a mask over your nose and mouth; Stay 6 feet away from others; Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces; Wash your hands often; Clean and disinfect; and Monitor your health daily.

It is especially important for people with certain underlying medical conditions at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to: Limit your interactions with other people ...

Infographic
Jun 22, 2023

COVID-19: What to do if You're at Risk

Graphic explaining how to what you should do if you have an underlying medical condition during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an underlying medical condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan. Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider. Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply (i.e., more than 30 days) of prescription medicines, if possible, to reduce your trips to the pharmacy. Do not delay getting emergency care for your underlying medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments have contingency infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care. Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your underlying medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest medical treatment facility or clinic.

If you have an underlying medical condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan. Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider. Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an ...

Infographic
Jul 1, 2022

Anyone Can Get Vaccinated

Anyone Can Get Vaccinated Infographic

Now that anyone 6 months and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, share this graphic to encourage your community to get vaccinated.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery