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

Flu Vaccination Rates are Running High Across the Military This Year

Image of a woman giving someone an injection on the arm. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kindal Kidd, from Neodesha, Kansas, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) medical department, administers a flu shot to a sailor in the ship's hangar bay. Ford's medical department is vaccinating the entire crew against the flu virus to ensure the crew remains medically ready as the ship prepares to go out to sea. (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Flu vaccination rates among service members are running far higher this year compared to the same period during previous years.

Its a positive sign that military health officials say could reduce the amount of illness impacting individuals and limit the strain on local hospitals and clinics that are already very busy due to the ongoing pandemic.

So far, about 64% of active-duty service members have received a flu shot. At this same time last year, the rate was 44 percent and in 2019 the rate was 52%, health officials said on Nov. 29.

"Immunization activities throughout the Military Health System are doing a great job this season getting influenza vaccine in the arms of service members, but we aren't quite to the finish line yet," says Army Lt. Col. Christopher Ellison, a doctor of pharmacy, the Defense Health Agency's operations director for the Immunization Healthcare Division; and the military lead for the Department of Defense's Influenza Vaccination Program. "We still have some service members who need to get vaccinated in order to reach the Defense Department's force-wide goal of 90% vaccinations by Jan. 15."

Several factors may be influencing the relatively high rates of flu vaccination to date.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased awareness about the importance of the flu vaccine, prompting some service members to get their shots early in the season. (Individuals can get their flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot on the same visit to a hospital or clinic).

The pace of flu vaccinations is also higher because the vaccines, which the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) distributes to all military hospitals and clinics, arrived earlier than in previous seasons.

In 2020, large supplies of flu vaccines did not begin arriving at military health facilities until September, and it was not until December that a vast majority of the vaccines were distributed.

This year, supplies began going out in August, and more than 90% were shipped and ready for patients by October, when the flu season usually begins. (Typically, the flu season runs October-May and peaks between December-February.)

"Our military hospitals and clinics are fantastic at mobilizing flu drives when they have vaccine on hand, and DLA did an outstanding job of getting vaccine out to the military hospitals and clinics this year," Ellison said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. But people 65 and older or with underlying conditions, pregnant women, infants, and young children are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. It's particularly important for those populations to get their shot.

All military members are required to get an annual flu shot. Check with TRICARE for locations and dates where flu vaccines may be available for service members. For all Military Health System beneficiaries, shots are available at military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and at military installations.

All military health system beneficiaries can use an online portal to schedule a flu shot or a COVID-19 booster shot. The portal, known as the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal, or DAP, began supporting the vaccine efforts on Oct. 11.

More information on the flu vaccine is available here.

You also may be interested in...

Dental Health Awareness

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness

DYK: Your birth month is the perfect time to make your yearly appointments – don’t neglect your teeth and make your dentist appointment this month. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Awareness 2

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness 2

Keep yourself mission ready by taking care of your teeth. Schedule your dental appointment to maintain readiness. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

TRICARE Flu Vaccine PSA

Video
11/3/2021
TRICARE Flu Vaccine PSA

Flu season is here, and it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot. Especially if you’re very young, very old, or pregnant. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by getting your flu shot today.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Immunizations | Get the Flu Vaccine

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

Flu Season: Staying Healthy

Video
10/13/2021
Flu Season: Staying Healthy

 FLU SEASON IS HERE AND GETTING YOUR FLU VACCINE IS THE BEST WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2022-23

Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

Video
10/13/2021
Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

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 | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2022-23

Flu Shots are Available Now And Are More Important than Ever

Article
10/13/2021
Military personnel getting their flu shot

It’s flu season. Get vaccinated. COVID-19 concerns should redouble desire to get vaccinated against the flu.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Immunizations | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

For Colon Cancer Patients, Military Health System Shows Better Results

Article
9/3/2021
Graphic image of a colon with polyps.

A USU study found MHS patients with colon cancer have better survival rates than patients in the general population.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Report
8/27/2021

Updated vaccine recommendations for the 2020-21 influenza season. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons 6 months and older who do not have contraindications.

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

MHS and MOS Town Hall To Your Health: Dental Health

Article
8/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource Townhall graphic

MHS and Military OneSource presents a discussion about Dental Health.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Total Force Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | TRICARE Dental Care

Are You Procrastinating Your Doctor’s Visit? Don’t Delay Any Longer

Article
8/23/2021
Photo of two military women talking.

Preventive health care is key to long-term health, prevention, and early detection.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Initial/Annual Competency Assessment Checklist: Influenza Vaccine Administration

Form/Template
8/19/2021

A checklist to evaluate competency in administering the influenza vaccine, to include customer service, patient screening and education, and administration technique and procedures.

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Influenza Infection and Influenza Vaccine

Fact Sheet
8/19/2021

The purpose of this information paper is to describe influenza disease and supporting vaccines to prevent its spread.

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Influenza Vaccines for Adults 65 Years and Older

Fact Sheet
8/19/2021

This information paper provides guidance to health care providers on discussing the annual influenza vaccination with persons aged 65 years and older.

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Do You Need a Medical Alert ID? It Could Save Your Life

Article
8/18/2021
Graphic image of a person's forearm wearing a medical alert bracelet and a close-up of the bracelet.

Medical alert devices can save your life – never leave home without yours.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Mobile Apps
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 10
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 24, 2022

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.