Back-to-school often turns into a last minute rush as you arrange to go clothes shopping, stock up on stationery, new clothes and other school supplies for your children. But not to be neglected are back-to-school vaccines for TRICARE beneficiaries. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children should be vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus (HPV), measles, mumps and rubella. Parents should ensure that these vaccinations are kept up to date, especially just before their children head back to school. The following, will list some of the vaccines that TRICARE covers for children.
Vaccination against HPV can protect young girls from cervical cancer, provided girls are vaccinated against HPV before they are exposed to the HPV virus. TRICARE offers the HPV vaccine to girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26, although some girls as young as 9 may also receive the HPV vaccine. HPV can be administered at the Military Treatment Facility (MTF) at the same time as other preventative vaccinations.
However, parents need to be aware of the fact that the HPV vaccine does not protect against every type of HPV infection or a future occurrence of cervical cancer. That is why young girls who receive the HPV vaccine should not ignore TRICARE recommendations to attend well woman check ups and regular cervical smear examinations.
Flu season seems a long way off, but it will quickly roll around. Again, the seasonal flu (including H1N1) vaccines are covered by TRICARE and are worth receiving. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine has up to a 90 percent success rate in healthy individuals. Children can receive the flu vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.
TRICARE Prime beneficiaries registered at a local MTF should contact the MTF to find out when the seasonal flu vaccine will be available. Seasonal flu vaccines that are administered by a TRICARE network provider, such as their primary care manager at the MTF or from a TRICARE network pharmacy, will receive the vaccine free of charge. Some civilian network providers charge a small co-pay for the seasonal flu vaccine. TRICARE Standard and Extra or TRICARE Prime Remote beneficiaries will also receive the seasonal flu vaccine for their children free of charge, provided the vaccine is administered by a TRICARE-authorised provider.
TRICARE provides age-appropriate vaccinations for children such as tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus (HPV), measles, mumps, rubella and seasonal flu. If you are still not sure what is covered, speak to your doctor or contact TRICARE, who will be able to advise you.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccines & Immunisations