By Buddy Blouin
The military has plenty of rituals, traditions, and rites of passage. On the surface, something called the peanut butter shot seems like it would fit the bill, and in many ways, it does. But don’t expect a fun night with a slight headache the next morning to be the aftermath. In fact, by many accounts, nursing a hangover may be a much-preferred alternative. The infamous peanut butter shot Army personnel have to take is a part of serving your country. It keeps you safer through a vaccination that’s going to be anything but a pleasant experience.

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What Is the Peanut Butter Shot Army Personnel Are Required To Get?

In the military, a Bicillin injection is known as the peanut butter shot. This unassuming nickname was given because, unlike many other shots, you’ll be injected with a thick slurry via a needle that's up to the task. This occurs during processing week, and don’t let any of these headlines or nicknames fool you. It doesn’t matter which branch you join, so prepare yourself. The “Army peanut butter shot” is a harsh reality for Sailors, Guardians, Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Airmen, Reservists, etc. The current status of vaccines for military personnel shows that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requires 17 vaccinations for those serving. This includes the Bicillin injection, which is used to protect troops against a variety of bacteria, most notably, as syphilis treatment. Those who receive the Bicillin shot can expect to do so on their butt, which is going to lead to some discomfort sitting and sore legs in the near future. Due to the vaccine's thickness, you can also expect things to take a bit longer than a traditional shot. Processing week isn’t exactly the highlight of your military career, but it’s a necessary part of joining the American Armed Forces.

How Long Does Bicillin Shot Last?

A shot of Bicillin L-A (penicillin G benzathine) can last up to 10 to 14 days depending on the person. Depending on its application, additional dosages may be necessary. Like any shot, the effects you feel afterward can also vary, and considering the circumstances surrounding the peanut butter shot (larger needle, thicker dosage, sensitive area), you can expect a longer recovery time. Tensing up will be a natural reaction; however, it'll only make things worse. You’ll also want to try to relax and heal as quickly as possible because Basic Training isn’t just going to halt because you’re feeling a bit of discomfort.

Does the Army Still Do the Peanut Butter Shot?

Yes, the Army and all of the branches of the U.S. military still require the infamous peanut butter shot despite any rumors you may have heard. Peanut butter shots in Army haven’t been replaced by pills or alternative means. As the saying goes, embrace the suck. Part of the confusion as to whether or not the peanut butter Army shot is still a thing could lie in the fact that it goes by many names, including BENPEN, Benzylpenicillin, PenG, Pfizerpen, and penicillin G. The U.S. Army peanut butter shot isn’t going to deliver nearly as much fun as a shot of Skrewball, but it's a great treatment for syphilis, as well as helping protect troops from various other ailments they might otherwise encounter. No matter what you call it, with the heightened emphasis on vaccines for the last few years, it’s highly unlikely that the peanut butter shot Army personnel have come to know (but never love) is going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

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