Vaccination policy in Korean armed forces: Current status and future challenge

Jung Yeon Heo, Kang Won Choe, Chang Gyo Yoon, Hye Won Jeong, Woo Joo Kim, Hee Jin Cheong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Infectious diseases have historically resulted in suspended or cancelled military operations. Vaccination for disease prevention is a critical component of the military's force readiness doctrine. Until recently, Korea had not recognized the importance of vaccinating military personnel. However, a 2011 meningococcal disease outbreak at an army recruit training center led to dramatic changes in the paradigm of traditional medical practice in the Korean armed forces. A new vaccination policy was formed by a 2012 Military Healthcare Service Act. Since then, Neisseria meningitidis, hepatitis A, and measles-mumps-rubella vaccines have been routinely administered to all new recruits early in basic training to ensure protection against these diseases. All active-duty soldiers also receive seasonal influenza vaccination annually. Despite quantitative improvements in vaccination policies, several instances of major infectious diseases and adverse vaccine reactions have threatened soldier health. In the future, vaccination policies in the Korean armed forces should be based on epidemiologic data and military medical research for vaccine use and safety management.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)353-359
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Korean medical science
    Volume30
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Hepatitis A
    • Influenza
    • Measles-Mumps-Rubella
    • Meningococcal disease
    • Military medicine
    • Military personnel
    • Policy
    • Vaccination

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)

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