One Shot (or Sniff) and You’re Ready For Flu Season

By Capt. Cappy Surette, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

The Navy Medical Command Headquarters got the opportunity to star in a recent “All Hands” video to highlight the overall Navy efforts to ensure our naval personnel get immunized against the flu.  It was a lot of fun and the video crew from the Defense Media Activity were true pros.

Vaccination is the primary method to reduce the risk of influenza by enhancing force immunity. This year’s flu vaccine protects against H3N2, influenza B and H1N1 strains in case you’re keeping score.

We understand that it’s not the most popular thing to do, but getting immunized for the flu is mandatory for all DoD uniformed personnel who are not medically or administratively exempt.  The vaccine is also widely available to TRICARE beneficiaries at no cost from Military Treatment Facilities, authorized providers, or any of the 50,000 participating network pharmacies.  Click here for more information on TRICARE’s flu resource page.

Two forms of influenza vaccine are distributed in the U.S., and both are covered by TRICARE:

  • The flu shot is an injectable, inactivated vaccine that contains a killed virus and can be used in all age groups 6 months and older.
  • Flu mist is an intranasal spray made with live, weakened influenza viruses; limited to use in people who are between the ages of 2 and 49 years, and who are not pregnant at the time they receive the vaccination.

Please ensure you and your families get flu shots in the near future and look at other vaccines and immunizations they may require this year. Protecting yourself and your family is an essential part of ensuring medical readiness across the Navy Medicine community and across the Fleet.

We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.