So you want you or your family to Tricare flu shots this year -- but instead of the actual shot-version you want the friendly mist-in-your-nose variety. After all, what's not to love? No needles. No bandaids. No sore arms. No crying children.
... Except, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year the FluMist doesn't exactly work. The up your nose variety doesn't protect against the infamous H1N1 influenza, the CDC found, and so Tricare isn't covering it and the medical treatment facilities aren't carrying it, officials said.
“Because the CDC didn’t recommend it this year, FluMist will not be available in MTFs and will not count toward our military member’s readiness requirements, and won’t be covered by Tricare,” said Army Col. Margaret Yacovone, who oversees immunizations for the Defense Health Agency. “If CDC changes its recommendation in the future, it may again be available in the DoD.”
In short: no mist for you.
The CDC recommends that everyone get flu shots -- yes, the needle kind -- as soon as possible each year. And officials expect there to be enough vaccine to go around. They've got 3.6 million doses on hand for MTFs and the military alone, which is enough to cover everyone who wants one, including all those DoDEA students who are now required to have the vaccine to go to school. (There is, however, a waiver for the DoDEA vaccine requirement. If you're active duty or Guard or Reserve you're likely not so lucky.)
As always, pretty much everyone in the military is required to get a flu vaccine. You can hit up Tricare to see the complete list of flu shot orders. Tricare flu shots for everyone!