JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The Department of Defense recently updated its immunization guidelines, requiring all service members to receive the hepatitis B virus immunizations.
Since 2002, the Air Force has administered the vaccination to new recruits. Most deploying Airmen and health care workers have also received the vaccination. However, about 10 percent of the active-duty force has not yet been vaccinated. Hepatitis B is a potentially fatal liver disease spread by contaminated blood or body fluids.
The hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3 doses.
- Dose 1 is given.
- Dose 2 must be given at least 30 days after dose 1.
- Dose 3 must be given at least 60 days after dose 2, and at least 120 days after dose 1.
The Aeromedical Services Information Management System has been updated to comply with this requirement. The requirement for a hepatitis B vaccination began appearing on service members’ individual medical readiness lists on March 28. Members have 365 days to complete the three-shot series before they are flagged for non-compliance.
Commanders should ensure their Unit Health Monitors notify members of this requirement. Immediate action is recommended because it takes at least four months to complete the series.
Service members can check their IMR status online by visiting the Air Force Surgeon Generals web site at https://imr.afms.mil/imr/MyIMR.aspx.