Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 10, 2020

DOD Officials Announce Distribution Plan for Initial Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine

By DAVID VERGUN DOD NEWS

WASHINGTON -- Regarding the initial COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Defense Department officials announced a phased and coordinated strategic plan for distributing and administering the initial COVID-19 vaccines.

Chief Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Rath Hoffman; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery; and, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director, Defense Health Agency, described the plan at a press briefing in the Pentagon today.

"In the coming days we expect the department to receive its first allotment of the vaccine," McCaffery said, noting that DOD is expected to receive around 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the initial phase, as early as next week, for immediate use.

An additional 44,000 doses would then be required for the follow-up dose in the two-shot series.

Spotlight: Operation Warp Speed
Per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance, DOD will administer the first batch to health care providers and then in DOD long-term care facilities, to high-risk populations, those in critical national capability positions and finally, healthy populations, McCaffery said.

That first batch of vaccines will be distributed to 16 locations, including three overseas. That delivery McCaffery termed a "control pilot."

The 16 sites were selected based on a sizable DOD population of high priority personnel, cold storage capability and sufficient medical personnel to administer the vaccines and monitor recipients after receiving them, he said.

As soon as the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization, or EUA, the DOD's allocation will be pre-positioned at those 16 sites. After issuance of the EUA, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, will meet to review the EUA, The ACIP will then vote to recommend a vaccine, how it should be disseminated and who should receive it first, and then the order of the follow-on recipients.

"We expect to have shots in arms of DOD personnel within 20 to 48 hours from the time the ACIP issues its final recommendation," McCaffery added.

As lessons from the control pilot are learned, and more vaccines are made available over time, additional locations will be added, and additional personnel, besides health care providers, will be added, he said. Eventually, all department personnel will be eligible to be vaccinated: active and selective reserve components, including the National Guard, family members, retirees, DOD civilians and select DOD contractors.

The 16 sites were selected based on a sizable DOD population of high priority personnel, cold storage capability and sufficient medical personnel to administer the vaccines and monitor recipients after receiving them, he said.

As soon as the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization, or EUA, the DOD's allocation will be pre-positioned at those 16 sites. After issuance of the EUA, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, will meet to review the EUA, The ACIP will then vote to recommend a vaccine, how it should be disseminated and who should receive it first, and then the order of the follow-on recipients.

"We expect to have shots in arms of DOD personnel within 20 to 48 hours from the time the ACIP issues its final recommendation," McCaffery added.

As lessons from the control pilot are learned, and more vaccines are made available over time, additional locations will be added, and additional personnel, besides health care providers, will be added, he said. Eventually, all department personnel will be eligible to be vaccinated: active and selective reserve components, including the National Guard, family members, retirees, DOD civilians and select DOD contractors.

Place encouraged DOD personnel to take the vaccine when it becomes available, because as for now, it is voluntary.

"While we await final approval from the FDA, the preliminary data on the safety and effectiveness of the two vaccine candidates is highly encouraging and we're recommending that everyone take the vaccine when it becomes available to protect yourselves, your families, your shipmates, your wingman your battle buddies and your communities," Place said.

The other vaccine he spoke of is made by Moderna and is expected to be made available to the department in the near future.

"As with most vaccines, some people may experience small adverse effects such as arm soreness, fatigue, even a fever," Place said. "The department will be fully transparent about any adverse effects that are reported and will share this information with the CDC."

Hoffman added his agreement with Place: "Our goal is to be transparent with the force about what is happening, and to encourage our personnel to use the vaccine."

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
304,397
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Army Chemical Company Keeps Combat Units in South Korea Ready to Fight Tonight
American Soldiers from 92nd Chemical Company integrated with Republic of Korea Army troops during a platoon static display and capabilities discussion.  The Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company is supporting the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as a part of a regular rotation of American combat forces to South Korea.
Dec. 2, 2021 - CAMP HOVEY, South Korea -- American Soldiers from the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company are helping to keep a rotational U.S. Army unit ready to fight and win on the Korean Peninsula.The company is deployed to...

RED HORSE Delivers Airlift Support Expansions to Yokota Air Base
Airmen from the 800th RED HORSE Group work fresh concrete into a new section of an aircraft parking spot, as part of an expansive flight line apron expansion project at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 10, 2021. Yokota’s flightline saw approximately 33,000 flights hit the pavement last year, and its role as an aircraft hub is being expanded to accommodate a greater contingency role in the Indo-Pacific region, investing $370 million in the past year to the effort.
Dec. 2, 2021 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The red baseball cap wearing 800th RED HORSE Group, or Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, have been seen at Yokota Air Base flightline construction sites...

U.S. Donates Nearly 200,000 Additional Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines to Sri Lanka
U.S. donates nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Sri Lanka
Dec. 2, 2021 - COLOMBO, U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka -- Nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arrived in Sri Lanka today as a donation from the American people. This gift demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the United...

Bangladesh, U.S. Kick Off Bilateral Exercise CARAT Bangladesh
Personnel from the U.S and Bangladesh kicked off Cooperation Afloat and Readiness at Sea Training (CARAT) Bangladesh 2021 during a virtual opening ceremony, Dec. 1. In its 27th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
Dec. 1, 2021 - BAY OF BENGAL -- Bangladesh Navy (BN) and U.S. military personnel are partnering in the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) maritime exercise, virtually and in the Bay of Bengal, beginning Dec. 1.The...

U.S. Fleet Oiler Conducts Replenishments-at-Sea, Enhances Interoperability with Australia During Annual Exercise
Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO198) conducts underway replenishments in the Philippine Sea with partners and allies, including Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) of the Royal Australian Navy, as part of Annual Exercise, Nov. 21-30.  Naval forces from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States took part in the multilateral, multinational exercise, led by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.  The exercise helps strengthen enduring relationships while sharpening naval proficiencies.
Dec. 1, 2021 - PHILIPPINE SEA -- Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO198) conducted underway replenishments with partners and allies as part of Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX), in the...