NEWS | Jan. 20, 2021

U.S. Marines in Okinawa Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

By Cpl. Destiny Dempsey III MEF Information Group

CAMP HANSEN, Japan -- U.S. Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (MIG), III MEF were given the option to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Jan. 20.

This was the first distribution of the vaccine on Camp Hansen since the U.S. Department of Defense began administering it to service members in Okinawa, December 27.

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Ray Gerber, the commanding officer of Camp Hansen and III MIG, was among the first to get vaccinated and expressed the importance of being ready.

“If I’m going to lead from the front that means stepping up to the front of the line and getting the vaccine,” Gerber said.

The U.S. Naval Hospital distribution efforts are part of a wider DoD initiative to protect our Service members, civilian employees, and families around the globe. The end-state is that DoD is able to reduce the burden of COVID-19 disease in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigate risk to military operations.

Gerber expressed to his Marines that, “In the long term, vaccines like this are how we are going to find our way out of the situation we are in right now.”