Behind on Vaccines? Get Back on Track with TRICARE
This summer, a COVID-19 vaccine is on the minds of many people. While the world waits for a vaccine, it’s a good time to make sure you and your family members are on track with other important vaccines. You can review the vaccination schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make sure you’re on track. TRICARE covers age-appropriate doses of vaccines, as recommended by the CDC.
“Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your children, and your community from serious diseases,” said Dr. James Black, medical director of the Clinical Support Division at the Defense Health Agency. “If you or your family members missed any scheduled vaccines this year, talk to your provider about catching up.”
Vaccinations are a preventive health service that helps you develop immunity to disease. The vaccines you get as a child protect you from disease that are now rare thanks to immunization. For example, the CDC reports that polio outbreaks in the 1940’s caused illness, fear, and quarantines. A vaccine emerged in 1955, and polio became a disease of the past by the 1970’s. With high vaccination rates, the number of infections from diseases like measles, diphtheria, mumps, and many more have been drastically reduced.
The vaccines you need are based on many factors. These may include your age, travel plans, lifestyle, current health conditions, and immunization history. Some common vaccines available include:
- Annual influenza (Flu)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (TDAP)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Where and How to Get Vaccines
Be sure to call the pharmacy first to:
- Check the days and times you can come in for a vaccine.
- See if there are any restrictions.
- Make sure the pharmacy has the vaccine you need.
- Make sure a pharmacist gives the vaccines and not a provider (to avoid potential out-of-pocket costs).
With TRICARE, you can get covered vaccines at no cost. But you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit, or for other services received during the same visit. These amounts vary according to your health plan. If you have a TRICARE Prime plan, avoid point-of-service-fees by visiting your primary care manager or a TRICARE network provider. Go to the Costs page, or download the TRICARE Costs and Fees Sheet for detailed cost information.
If you aren’t sure if a vaccine that you need is covered, talk to your provider or TRICARE contractor. TRICARE adds coverage for new vaccines based on CDC recommendations. Take command of your health, and learn more about TRICARE covered vaccinations and how to get them for you and your family.
Last Updated 8/12/2020