The Military Immunization Communication Handbook
OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL (ARMY) WASHINGTON DC MILITARY VACCINE AGENCY
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The Department of Defenses DoD immunization program is an integral part of DoDs force protection program. One of the biggest challenges for the military immunization program involves maintaining a comprehensive communication effort to provide information to military personnel and their families. Further, this communication program must provide clear information about the specific threats, available vaccines, vaccine safety, medical protocols for administering vaccines, and the policies for managing and administering the program. Other challenges include the disagreements over biowarfare intelligence, reports of rare but serious reactions after immunizations, and the continuing legal challenges against the immunization programs. This handbook was developed with these and other challenges in mind. The handbook was commissioned by the Military Vaccine MILVAX Agency, a component of the Army Surgeon Generals Office that supports all five Armed Services in optimizing the use of military immunizations to keep troops healthy. The purpose of The Military Immunization Communication Handbook is to help military leaders communicate effectively about what vaccines can and cannot do. The goal is to provide leaders at all levels -- warriors, health care providers, medics and corpsmen, logisticians, public affairs officials, and others -- with the information, tools, and skills they need to ensure that military service members understand the value of immunization and make good choices about vaccines. The information presented here is based on experience, historical perspective, academic and experiential research, clinical input, conclusions from Americas top scientists, and best practices in communicating about tough topics.
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