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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 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 .

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 or the of the Military Health Services (MHS) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA). 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 DHA - IHB supports all DoD immunization programs and provides clinical consultative services, educational support, and training resources for the entire DoD. The DHA - IHB has Immunization Healthcare Specialists (IHSs) located around the world. For contact information for the IHS assigned to your location, visit the IHB website.

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 DHA - IHB website. See a list of selected resources below for direct links.

Additional resources:

Vaccine Exemptions 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 DHA - IHB website for exemption information.

The DHA - IHB provides guidance on vaccine policy, education, and training. The DHA-IHB has Immunization Healthcare Specialists (IHSs) located around the world. For contact information for the IHS assigned to your location, you can find a list on the IHB website.

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 contact your healthcare provider. If it is an emergency, go to the closest hospital.

For assistance with documenting or reporting the vaccine reaction, contact the Worldwide DHA Immunization Healthcare Support Center (1-877-438-8222) or go to the MHS website for more information.


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