USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- United States Forces Korea (USFK) started inoculating military and civilian healthcare workers, first responders and the USFK command team with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today across three USFK medical treatment facilities.
The three locations administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital at United States Army Garrison - Humphreys, 51st Medical Group at Osan Air Base and 8th Medical Group at Kunsan Air Base.
USFK was previously identified as one of four overseas locations to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine through the Department of Defense’s deliberate and phased distribution plan.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine under an emergency use authorization on Dec. 18 following Moderna’s careful and rigorous three-phased clinical trial that demonstrated the vaccine to be safe and effective for use.
Under an emergency use authorization, the vaccine is 100% voluntary and not mandatory.
“I strongly encourage all eligible individuals to receive the vaccine,” said Gen. Robert B. “Abe” Abrams, USFK Commander. “While the Moderna vaccine is completely voluntary under an EUA, I want you to make an informed decision for you and your family regarding the vaccine.”
The initial distribution to USFK was limited in quantity but within DoD’s phased delivery approach to ensure frontline healthcare workers and first responders, who are at risk of being exposed daily, were prioritized to receive the vaccine first.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in South Korea on Dec. 25 at Incheon Airport, and after clearing customs, was ground delivered to the United States Army Medical Material Center Korea at Camp Carroll the same day. It remained in cold-storage there until Dec. 28 when it was ground delivered to the three medical treatment facilities at Humphreys, Osan and Kunsan.
Following this initial phase of inoculations, additional vaccine shipments will arrive on-peninsula as Moderna, and potentially other FDA-authorized vaccines, are produced and shipped to USFK. These vaccines will be made available for those eligible and who choose to receive it.
“While we await additional shipments of the vaccine, I ask that our community remains patient and flexible,” said Abrams. “The COVID-19 vaccine is another tool that will help USFK maintain a robust combined defensive posture and our ‘Fight Tonight’ readiness approach.”