Skip to main content

Military Health System

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 Toolkit | 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...

Naval Medical Research Center Clinical Trials Center Seeks Volunteers yet to Receive Flu Shot for Immune Response Study

Article Around MHS
11/23/2022
Military medical personnel during vaccine study

Naval Medical Research Center’s clinical trials center is looking for 200 volunteer test subjects for a new clinical study that investigates the immune response to seasonal flu vaccination.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | National Immunization Awareness Month 2022 | Continuous Quality Immunization Improvement Process (CQIIP) and Virtual Continuous Quality Immunization Improvement Process (VCQIIP)

Lung Cancer Leading Cause of Cancer Death

Article
11/22/2022
 U.S Navy MRI technologist behind a computer screen with a magnetic resonance machine in the background.

With November being Lung Cancer Awareness Month, be aware of symptoms, causes, and steps to take if you think you need screening.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

What You Should Know About RSV: Symptoms, Prevention, Care

Article Around MHS
11/14/2022
infant smiling

You may have heard of a virus called respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. But do you know how serious it is and who is most at risk? Learn the signs, and how quickly RSV can put patients at risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and even death.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental

Get Protected With New COVID-19 Booster and Flu Vaccine

Article Around MHS
10/24/2022
Military medical personnel administering vaccine

There are two vaccines you should consider getting this Fall, and now you can get them both at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Get Your Flu Shot

Video
10/14/2022
Get Your Flu Shot

RDML Brandon L. Taylor, Director of DHA Public Health, discusses how vaccines greatly reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure." Lets us join Rear Admiral Brandon L. Taylor this year to get informed on how vaccines can minimize the dangers of flu.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

Time to Get Your Flu Shot and Your COVID-19 Booster, Too

Article
10/14/2022
Senior MHS officials and medics from the Pentagon stand together Oct. 13 after receiving their flu shots and bivalent COVID-19 boosters.."

It's flu shot time. Get your COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Coronavirus

CDC Flu Fact

Infographic
10/14/2022
CDC Flu Fact

The CDC.gov recommends antiviral drugs to treat illness in people who are sick with the flu and for those at who are at high risk of serious flu complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/ #FightFlu

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of Flu

Prevent the Spread of Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses Within Your Community

Article
10/11/2022
A person getting an injection on their arm.

As families return from summer vacation and students return to school, the influenza (flu) season is approaching while the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

Get Your Flu Shot

Video
10/4/2022
Get Your Flu Shot

Rear Adm. Brandon L. Taylor, Director of DHA Public Health, discusses how vaccines greatly reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure." Lets us join Rear Adm. Taylor this year to get informed on how vaccines can minimize the dangers of flu.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Graphic

Infographic
10/4/2022
COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Graphic

The #CDC recommends everyone ages 12 years and older get a single bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster, when eligible. You can get your COVI D-19 vaccine or booster at the same time as your season flu shot! Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination here: www.tricare.mil/Coronavirus #GetVaccinated #vaccineswork

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

Flu Shot Infographic

Infographic
10/4/2022
Flu Shot Infographic

Protect Yourself! It's safe to get your flu and COVID vaccine at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

Standing orders for Administering Influenza Vaccine to Children and Adolescents

Publication
9/15/2022

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

DHA Form 116: Pediatric and Adult Influenza Screening and Immunization Documentation

Form/Template
9/14/2022

A form for screening both children and adults for contraindications to receiving influenza vaccine. (v3, September 2022)

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere

Ramstein Now Offers Novavax Vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/8/2022
Military medical gives Soldier a COVID-19 vaccine

The 86th Medical Group is now offering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to members 18 years and older in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus

Be Prepared with Back-to-School Immunizations

Video
7/28/2022
Be Prepared with Back-to-School Immunizations

Air Force Surgeon General Miller encourages parents to get their kids immunized before heading back to school in the fall.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations | Back to School
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 10
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 24, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery