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Health Services

Fight the Flu

About the Flu

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu seasons are unpredictable and have the potential to impact Department of Defense readiness and mission. Each year in the United States, seasonal influenza kills more than 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 more.

The goal of DoD’s Influenza Vaccination Program is to protect all active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel, mission-essential civilian personnel, healthcare personnel and Tricare beneficiaries from influenza and related complications.

Everyone 6 months and older should receive an annual influenza vaccination. The peak season for flu is usually October through May. Get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Flu Prevention

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Other ways to prevent catching and spreading the flu include:
  • Clean your hands often with soap and warm water or alcohol-based hand cleaners
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough then put used tissue in the waste basket. If a tissue is not available, then sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow, not your hand.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keep your distance or stay home if you are sick.
Trivalent flu vaccine protects against two Influenza A and a B viruses trivalent influenza vaccines, A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus; A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus (updated), and a B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus (updated) and will be commercial pharmacies servicing Tricare beneficiaries.

Quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses Flu vaccine protects against all those named in the trivalent vaccine plus another B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata).

The types of flu vaccines used by the Department of Defense in Hawaii this year include:
  • Afluria (Quadrivalent): inactivated (single-dose syringe) in pediatric doses for 6 months to 35 months of age (0.25mL), ≥ 3 yrs. and older 0.5mL dose in prefilled syringe (PFS) and multi-dose vial (MDV) 
Military clinics will not have the intradermal vaccination or the high dose influenza vaccination for seniors (65 years of age and over). The FluMist (quadrivalent) live attenuated (intranasal) vaccine will also not be offered this Flu season at military treatment facilities.

Flu vaccinations 

All Beneficiaries can check with their military clinic locations after October 3, 2022 for vaccination availability.  Beneficiaries may also go to any Tricare retail network pharmacy to be vaccinated at no cost. Find an eligible pharmacy near you at: Military Express Scripts

Additional Resources

Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.