Questions & Answers
Influenza - Seasonal - The Disease
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  1. Why do I need to be immunized against influenza every year?
    Circulating influenza virus strains change from year to year and these changes happen often enough that your immune system doesn’t recognize the flu virus each year. Protection that develops after a person is infected or immunized against the circulating viruses of one season does not provide adequate cross-protection when a new influenza strain develops. That is why you need to get a new flu vaccine each year.

  2. What is the best way to protect myself and my family from getting influenza if we are not vaccinated?
    Vaccination is your best protection against influenza infection. If you are unable to receive the vaccine, avoid close contact with people sick with the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water or if that is unavailable use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To prevent the spread of germs, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

  3. When should I get vaccinated?
    It is recommended that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as vaccine becomes available, before flu season, to give the body a chance to build up immunity to the virus. Even though it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available, getting the vaccine later can still be beneficial. Vaccinations should occur through the entire influenza season which ends when product expires in early summer or supply is exhausted.

  4. Where can I receive my vaccine?
    The influenza vaccine can be received from many MTF's and clinics within DoD. To find a clinic near you, use the IHB clinic finder found at

    Additionally, the TRICARE Management Activity issued the final rule authorizing TRICARE retail network pharmacies to administer seasonal influenza at no cost to beneficiaries the for the 2015-2016 influenza season. Service members who receive the influenza vaccination from non-military facilities must provide appropriate immunization data to their unit's point of contact NLT COB of the next duty day following vaccination in order to properly document the annual requirement.