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Military Health System

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

On Jan. 31, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued formal licensure of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine also known as Spikevax for people ages 18 and up. This is the second vaccine to receive FDA-approval, following the licensure of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now called COMIRNATY® in August 2021. The Johnson & Johnsen/Janssen single-doses vaccine received Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization on Feb. 27, 2021. Most recently, the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine received FDA Emergency Use Authorization on July 13, 2022 and is presently approved for use only as a primary series.

Following CDC guidance, DOD will continue to adjust health protection protocols to the local conditions of the communities in which we serve. The Department’s priorities include:

  • Protecting our Service members, DOD civilians, and families
  • Safeguarding our national security capabilities
  • Supporting the whole-of-nation response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reducing the long-term health effects of COVID-19

The CDC recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone age six months and older. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps protect you, your family, your community and our nation. Eligible and authorized TRICARE beneficiaries can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as available, at a DOD vaccination site.

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit Page TRICARE Beneficiary Information

Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.

Vaccine recommendations are based on your age, the vaccine you first received, and time since last dose. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech (bivalent) booster is authorized for people 12 years of age and older.
  • The Moderna (bivalent) booster is authorized for people 18 and older.

People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — those who have had a primary vaccine series — and people who’ve had a primary series plus one or two additional boosters are eligible to get one of these new updated (bivalent) boosters. Find more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html

DOD Vaccine Mandates

COVID-19 vaccines are required for all members of the armed forces on active duty or in the Reserve or Guard components, including pregnant service members, according to DOD. Each service decides their own deadline for vaccination.

  • If you’re a service member and you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine from a non-DOD provider, make sure to update your medical records.
  • If you haven’t received your COVID vaccine yet, schedule your vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Find a DOD COVID Vaccine Location near you

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, contact your unit commander.

Vaccine Safety

COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Omicron variant.

The CDC confirms COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and recommend that all people 5 years and older get COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

Furthermore, COVID-19 vaccine development has processes and procedures in place to help ensure the safety of any vaccine authorized for use. Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are:

  • Demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase three clinical trials
  • Authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Manufactured and distributed safely and securely

Visit the CDC Website to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

Concerns about the vaccine?

Speak with a Vaccine Expert. You may contact the DHA-Immunization Healthcare Support Center at 1-877-GET-VACC (1-877-438-8222) option 1 or Defense Switch Network (DSN) 761-4245, option 1, if you have questions about the vaccines or about an adverse event following vaccination.

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Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

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Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

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LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

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LTG Place presents his concerns over those who are still unvaccinated during these unprecedented times. Take the right steps to prevent tragedy befalling your family and schedule your vaccine today at https://tricare.mil/vaccineappointments.

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Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

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"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

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Line Leader Presentation (Powerpoint)

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Leaders across the Department can leverage this briefing deck to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with their troops. Don't forget to reference speaker notes and to personalize the title slide!

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Line Leader Presentation (PDF)

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This document is identical to the PowerPoint presentation for line leader reference and use.

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Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

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7/30/2021
Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

In accordance with CDC guidance, the Department of Defense (DOD) requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in all indoor DOD facilities. If you are not vaccinated, continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DOD Force Health Protection Guidance.

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Last Updated: September 26, 2022
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