Text Size:

FAQ's About Military Personnel and Vaccine Concerns; Daycare, Exemptions and Reaction Reports

Military Personnel and Vaccines

Vaccine Exemptions & Daycare

Q: What are our rights regarding vaccine exemptions for my children who will be in daycare?

A: If you are a military dependent (beneficiary) and use military medical facilities, Tri-Care Services and/or Military Child Care, you must comply with the DOD policies contained in Joint Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard publication (AR 40-562, BUMEDINST 6230.15A, AFJI 48-110, CG COMDTINST M6230.4F) update released 29 September 2006. These polices are further explained here.

A request for a waiver can be made based on conditions such as those described below. Family members receive vaccinations according to current ACIP recommendations. The ACIP recommendations are outlined on the CDC's website or the Military Vaccine Office website. In addition, family members may be subject to U.S. Armed Services - specific requirements/recommendations for vaccinations which apply to the foreign country in which they will live when accompanying military service members under military sponsorship.

DoD policy is that Military Departments will use the first-available vaccine doses to preserve operational effectiveness, and protect the most vulnerable populations by vaccinating military units that are deployed or will deploy, and other DoD personnel that represent or support critical missions, as well as high risk groups listed in the most current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The Military Vaccine (MILVAX) Agency provides guidance on vaccine policy, education, and training. The DoD Vaccine Healthcare Centers (VHC) Network offers clinical guidance and case management for potential vaccine adverse events.

Military personnel can report known or suspected adverse events related to the administration of influenza vaccine to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). AR 40-562, Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis, 29 SEP 06, establishes minimum requirements for submission of a VAERS form as: vaccine reactions resulting in hospitalization or time lost from duty (more than 24 hours), or if contaminated lots are suspected (Ref a).

More information about DoD vaccination programs for vaccine recipients and providers is at the MILVAX website and the VHC website. Additional research information is available on the Military Vaccine Research Directory.

Vaccine Exemption for Military Personnel

Q:  I am in the Armed Services and am being told that I have to take anthrax vaccines and other vaccines I don't want to take. What are my rights?

A: DoD policies require compliance with the provisions contained in Joint Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard publication(AR 40-562, BUMEDINST 6230.15A, AFJI 48-110, CG COMDTINST M6230.4F) update released 7 October 2013. Medical and Administrative (Conscientious and Religious) exemption procedures are contained in Chapter 2: Para 2-6.

For more information about your rights with regard to taking anthrax vaccine or other vaccines required by the military, go to NVIC's Military and Biodefense Vaccine Project, or the Military Vaccine Resource Directory.

What is the Vaccine Healthcare Center (VHC)? - The Vaccine Healthcare Centers (VHC) Network supports Warrior Care Emergency Preparedness and Military Readiness of the Department of Defense. It was created to act as a specialized clinical support system for the development and implementation of programs research consultation and services that enhance vaccine safety efficacy and acceptability and case management of vaccine adverse events.

There are four VHC's:

Walter Reed Regional VHC
Walter Reed Army Medical
Center P.O. Box 59605
WashingtonD.C. 20012-0605
Phone: 202-782-0411 DSN: 662-0411
Fax: 202-782-4658/5161
Richard E. Shope Regional VHC
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
620 John Paul Jones CircleBldg. 1C-107
PortsmouthVirginia 23708-2197
Phone: 757-953-9150 DSN: 377-9150 Fax: 757-953-5887
Fort Bragg Regional VHC
Womack Army Medical Center
Bldg 2-2010 Woodruff Street
Fort BraggNorth Carolina 28310-0001
Phone: 910-432-4015 DSN: 239-4015 Fax: 910-432-4054
Wilford Hall Regional VHC
Wilford Hall Medical Center
2131 Pepperrell StreetBldg. 3350Ste.1
Lackland AFBTX 78236-5314 Phone: 210-292-0482 DSN: 554-0482
Fax: 210-292-0493

If you have questions about the VHC, click here and for general information about the VHC, click here.

Reporting an Adverse Vaccine Reaction

Q: I am in the U.S. Armed Services and I think I have experienced a serious reaction to a vaccine. What should I do?

A: If you are a military service member or dependent (beneficiary) and think you may be experiencing a vaccine-related adverse event, DoD encourages you to call the DoD Clinical Call Center's 24-hour toll-free number at 1-866-210-6469 or go to the VHC website.

Make a Difference

NVIC is 100% funded by donations. Please give. Help educate families about preventing vaccine injury and death by donating to NVIC today.

Ask Questions
Vaccine doses banner