TAB A – Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

Acronyms and Abbreviations

ACIP Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
AFEB Armed Forces Epidemiological Board
AFMIC Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center
AOR area of responsibility
ARCENT Army Central Command
ASD(HA) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs)
AVIP Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program
BW biological warfare
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDRFORSCOM Commander, Forces Command
CENTCOM Central Command
CINC Commander in Chief
CINCCENT Commander in Chief, Central Command
CINCFOR Commander in Chief, Forces Command
CW chemical warfare
DD Department of Defense (form)
DEERS Defense Eligibility and Enrollment Reporting System
DNBI disease and non-battle injury
DoD Department of Defense
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FORSCOM Forces Command (Army)
GAO General Accounting Office
HHS Department of Health and Human Services
HSC Health Services Command (Army)
ICD International Classification of Diseases
IND investigational new drug
IOM Institute of Medicine
J4 Joint Staff, Logistics Directorate
MARDIV Marine division
MEDCOM Medical Command (Army)
MEDPROS Medical Protection System (Army)
MEDSOM Medical Supply, Optical, and Maintenance
MDPH Michigan Department of Public Health
MITS Military Immunization Tracking System (Air Force)
MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
MOD Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
MPOD Medical Plans and Operations Division (J4)
NBC nuclear, biological, and chemical
NCID National Center for Infectious Diseases
NGB National Guard Bureau
PAC Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
PHS Public Health Service
PIC personal information carrier
SAMS Shipboard Automated Medical System (Navy)
SF standard form
UK United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
USACHPPM US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
USAMRIID US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
USAMRMC US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
VA Department of Veterans Affairs
VAERS Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System
WHO World Health Organization


Active immunity Immunity produced by the person’s own immune system. This type of immunity can be brought about by a natural infection or by a vaccine. It is usually long lasting. (Compare with passive immunity.)
Adjuvant A substance added to a vaccine preparation to increase the body’s immune response to the vaccine.
Adverse event Any undesirable event that occurs following vaccination. An adverse event could be a true vaccine reaction, or just a coincidental event, with further research needed to distinguish between them.
Adverse reaction An unintended side effect of a vaccine. (The intended effect of a vaccine is to produce immunity.) Adverse reactions may be local, systemic, or allergic.
Allergy A condition in which the body has an exaggerated (immune) response to a substance, like a vaccine. Also known as hypersensitivity.
Antibiotics Drugs (medicines) used to treat or prevent infectious diseases.
Antigen A foreign substance (like a bacterium or virus, or parts of them) which triggers an immune response. Vaccines also contain antigens in order to trigger an immune response that is protective against subsequent disease.
Attenuated vaccine A vaccine prepared from live bacteria or viruses, which have been weakened so they produce immunity but do not cause disease. Also called live attenuated vaccines. (Compare with inactivated vaccine.)
Bacteria Tiny one-celled organisms present throughout the environment. Some bacteria cause disease (like diphtheria, tetanus, and typhoid fever).
Biological warfare agent A tiny organism (or toxin produced by it) used as a weapon to cause disease.
Biologics A classification of products derived from living sources, such as humans, animals, bacteria and viruses. Vaccines, immune globulin, and anti-toxins are biologics.


An additional dose of a vaccine needed periodically to "boost" the immune system (e.g. tetanus-diphtheria vaccine every 10 years).


The use of a drugs to prevent infectious diseases (e.g., the use of anti-malarial pills).

Effectiveness (or Efficacy) The ability of a vaccine to produce the desired beneficial effect, i.e., to protect against a disease.

Endemic (disease)

(A disease) occurring continually in a population or geographic area.

Epidemic (disease)

(A disease) occurring in a population or geographic area in excess of what would be normally be expected.


The study of the frequency and distribution of disease in human populations.


Contact with infectious agents (bacteria or viruses) in a manner that promotes transmission and increases the likelihood of disease.

Immune system

A complex system in the body which fights disease by recognizing bacteria and viruses as foreign and developing a defense against them (the immune response). Vaccines protect against disease by stimulating the immune system to produce this immune response.


Protection against or resistance to disease. Immunity may be long lasting or temporary. It generally follows natural infections and is the goal of vaccinations. (See also active and passive immunity.)


The process of inducing protection against a disease, usually by administering an antigen (as in a vaccine) or antibodies (as in immune globulin). (See also vaccination, but these terms are often used interchangeably.)

Inactivated vaccine

A vaccine prepared from killed whole bacteria or viruses, from parts of them, or from products (like toxins) produced by them.

Investigational vaccine

A vaccine that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in clinical trials on humans. However, investigational vaccines are still in the testing and evaluation phase and are not licensed for use in the general public. For more detailed information, see the FDA web site at

Natural infection (or disease) An infection (or disease) from bacteria or viruses found in the environment, such as measles, chicken pox, etc.

Passive immunity

Immunity produced in an animal or person and transferred to another person, usually by injection. It is effective but usually disappears in a few weeks to months. (Immune globulin and botulinum antitoxin provide passive immunity.)

Side effect

An undesirable effect of a vaccine. (See also adverse reaction.)


Affecting the whole body.


A poisonous substance produced by a living organism (e.g., a bacterium, a plant, or an animal). Some toxins can cause diseases, such as botulism and tetanus.


A vaccine prepared from an inactivated bacterial toxin. (Botulinum toxoid vaccine and tetanus-diphtheria toxoid vaccines are examples.)


The introduction into the body of bacteria or viruses (or parts or products of them) that have previously been treated to make them harmless for the purposes of inducing the development of immunity. (See also immunization.)


A preparation of weakened or killed microorganisms (or parts or products of them) used to produce immunity to a particular disease.


A tiny organism that multiplies within cells and can cause disease. Measles, mumps, chickenpox, and hepatitis are diseases caused by viruses.

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