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

Sorry flu, not this year

U.S. Air Force Kathryn Klein, right, an aerospace medical service specialist with 182nd Medical Group, Illinois Air National Guard, administers an influenza vaccination during drill weekend at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Dec. 8, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, and the best prevention is getting a flu vaccine each year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Paul R. Helmig II) U.S. Air Force Kathryn Klein, right, an aerospace medical service specialist with 182nd Medical Group, Illinois Air National Guard, administers an influenza vaccination during drill weekend at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Dec. 8, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, and the best prevention is getting a flu vaccine each year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Paul R. Helmig II)

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Health Readiness | Influenza Summary and Reports | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2021-22

Even with the scare of a highly contagious virus spreading each year, U.S. service members and beneficiaries can feel relieved this flu season.

Through a complex and heavily coordinated global effort, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical supply chain teamed with Department of Defense partners to provide 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine to service members, dependents and retirees.

“Everybody knows preventing the flu and getting our service members vaccinated is so important every year,” said Jenna Wesolowski, a Medical contracting officer. “The dedication of everyone involved just shows and makes the program so successful because we try our hardest to get everybody vaccinated.”

The DLA Troop Support Medical team worked alongside the Defense Health Agency, DLA Distribution and military service medical logistics personnel through a yearlong effort supporting the DOD’s 2019-2020 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program and its goal to vaccinate 90 percent of all service members by Jan. 15.

“My dad was a Marine, so I think of him being out in the field and I wouldn’t want him getting sick with the flu … that's why I love this job,” Wesolowski explained. “I just think it's so important to dedicate yourself to the warfighter because they’re the people protecting us. This program has always been super important to me.”

Flu season most commonly occurs during the fall and winter months, historically peaking from December through February. The season can sometimes last all the way until May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to DHA, the 2019-2020 flu season was successful in meeting its service member vaccination goal thanks to the communication and dedication of the agencies involved.

“The relationship between DLA, DHA-Immunization Healthcare Division and the services is instrumental to a successful program,” said Tara Reavey, DHA-IHD’s Policy and Program Management section chief. “New challenges impact each flu vaccination season and DHA-IHD, DLA and the services work very hard to minimize the impact of these challenges and to serve all customers in a timely manner.”

The Medical supply chain acquires the vaccines, ensures the manufacturer delivers the vaccines to the DLA Distribution warehouse on time and then coordinates deliveries to military treatment facilities and the Navy fleet around the globe.

Wesolowski and her teammates begin the contracting aspect of the program about a year out from flu season in January. As the season approaches, they work with the vendor on contractual obligations and monitor the program’s status until all the vaccines are delivered to Distribution’s warehouses, usually by the end of fall.

“We constantly communicate with the vendor for status and delivery updates,” Wesolowski said. “Then we relay that message to the customers and Distribution. That communication helps us overcome any hiccups, and I think that everybody did a good job getting the services vaccinated [this season].”

As the vaccines are delivered to the warehouse, Wesolowski and her teammates begin handing the program responsibilities off to another Medical team.

“When the services tell us what they want shipped, that's when our part kicks in,” explained Dana Dallas, the head of Medical’s cold chain management team. “It's our job to get the vaccines released from the warehouse and work with Distribution to make sure they get shipped correctly. We’ll [also] work with the carriers to make sure they deliver on time.”

Dallas and her teammates coordinate the vaccine delivery through a schedule agreed upon by the services at the beginning of flu season.

Military service medical logistics organizations, such as U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Distribution Operations Center, Naval Medical Logistics Command and Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, let the supply chain know when customers need vaccines, and upon receipt of the request, Medical coordinates with Distribution for delivery, Dallas said.

However, Dallas added, the challenge is overcoming the cold chain management obstacles such as temperature sensitivity, shelf life considerations and weather interruptions.

These challenges makes the delivery process more complicated when delivering to overseas locations, like Navy vessels that are constantly moving at sea or military treatment facilities located in remote locations with limited accessibility.

Using a Navy vessel as an example, Dallas says there are many variables to consider for delivery.

“I have to find them and find out how long they’re going to be at a certain location,” Dallas explained. “Are they somewhere I can deliver to, and if not, what's their next location? Do I need to go through a cross-dock location because I cannot get to theirs directly? Do I have to use military airlift because the commercial carriers can't get to the island or do I have to float it to them?”

Dallas said this year brought some challenges, but communication helped the organizations overcome them.

And even though the program cannot avoid all the barricades to a successful delivery, the partnership and commitment to the mission between the DLA organizations is what helps keep the military healthy during flu season.

“The mutual respect, trust and understanding of mission requirements that Distribution and Troop Support has built and relies on over the years allows a streamlined communication process that serves for better coordination and faster execution in meeting customer demand,” said Robert Garrettson, the DLA Distribution Shelf Life Special Commodities team lead. “This year’s program has been very successful because of the strong partnerships between all stakeholders.”

You also may be interested in...

Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Article
11/29/2021
Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game

The Defense Department programs listed here are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are standing by to respond to individual queries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

DHA Form 236: Pediatric (5-11 years) COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Documentation

Form/Template
11/12/2021

This form is used to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the pediatric patient

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Immunization Healthcare

Army Recovery Care Coordinator Guides Veterans, Caregivers in Recovery

Article
11/12/2021

A warrior care coordinator shares how she supports recovering service members, their families and caregivers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | IHD COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Center for Health Care Personnel | Immunization Healthcare

MHS reaches 6 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19

Photo
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

An airman receives a COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Article
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Giving Back Helps Veteran Caregiver Connect with Military Caregivers

Article
11/10/2021
Veteran caregiver, Diane Hupko with U.S. Army veteran she cares for smile at camera

Giving back helps veteran caregiver connect with other military caregivers to build a community of support.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Are You Prepared for Flu Season? Let TRICARE Help.

Article
11/1/2021
A hospital corpsman administers an influenza vaccination to an airman as part of a seasonal shot exercise onboard Naval Air Station Sigonella.

Flu season is here once again. Are you prepared? With the COVID-19 Delta variant​ continuing to spread and our health care system overburdened, it’s important for all of us to help combat the spread of flu. And the best way to do so is to get a flu shot.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Changes to TRICARE

New MHS Podcast Explores Women’s Health in the Military

Article
10/27/2021

The new podcast series, Wise Health for Women Warriors, aims to help servicewomen overcome the specific health care obstacles they encounter.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Standing orders for Administering Influenza Vaccine to Children and Adolescents

Publication
10/25/2021

The purpose of this standing order is to reduce morbidity and mortality from influenza by vaccinating children and adolescents who meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Checklist: Best Practices for Vaccination Clinics Held at Satellite, Temporary, or Off-Site Locations

Publication
10/20/2021

A step-by-step guide to help clinic supervisors follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines while overseeing any nontraditional vaccination clinic setting.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Storage and Handling

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Expeditionary Medical Force Brings Optimal Readiness in Pacific Region

Article Around MHS
10/18/2021
A male soldier talks about a chart to to a female sailor.

The 121st Field Hospital of the 549th Hospital Center recently introduced an innovative way to increase medical Soldiers’ proficiency and competency by enhancing access to the field hospital equipment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

Brain Resilliance

Photo
10/14/2021
Enriched environments and new experiences encourage brain plasticity. When you learn something new—such as a new instrument, language, skill, or sport—new neuropathways are created in your brain.

Soldiers training for operations.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | In the Spotlight

Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

Video
10/13/2021
Stay Mission Ready

FLU SEASON IS HERE, AND THE THREAT OF SERIOUS ILLNESS MAKES IT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR FLU VACCINE THIS YEAR.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2021-22
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 44

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.