In coordination with the Defense Health Agency and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, three of Naval Medical Forces Atlantic’s (MEDLANT) Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) are among the first Department of Defense (DoD) hospitals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Department of Defense chosen locations include Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, and Naval Hospital Pensacola. Vaccines started arriving Tuesday, Dec. 15 and vaccinations at these facilities are expected to begin Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Vaccination is voluntary and, in addition to front line health care workers, commands are coordinating with installation leadership to administer vaccines to first responders, such as emergency management service personnel and security forces.
MEDLANT Commander, Rear Adm. Darin Via recognizes the vaccine’s ability to strengthen and safeguard our personnel and our national security capabilities.
“As healthcare professionals, we commit to protecting the health and readiness of our Sailors and Marines,” said Via. “This vaccine lowers the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and protects our front line workers, our military force, our community, and our nation.”
This plan is a whole-of-government coordinated distribution strategy for prioritizing and administering COVID-19 vaccines that will strengthen our ability to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the nation’s COVID-19 response.
The DoD is administering vaccinations using a phased approach. Early in the COVID-19 vaccination program, there will be a finite supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Distribution prioritization within DoD will be consistent with data-driven Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for national prioritization. The DoD initially expects a limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, and a rolling delivery schedule to MTFs and other health care facilities.
All DoD personnel who receive the vaccine will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, and follow restriction of movement guidance and safety measures as directed.
“The end-state is that we will be able to reduce the burden of this disease in high-risk populations and, simultaneously, mitigate risk to military operations,” said Via.
Vaccines fight disease by producing an immune response within the body. Sometimes that means flu-like symptoms, such as aches, headache and fever. This is normal and a sign that your body is creating antibodies to protect you from COVID-19. Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase-three clinical trials, have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have been manufactured and distributed safely and securely.
MEDLANT is dedicated to providing the latest information about the vaccines available as it is released so that DoD personnel and TRICARE beneficiaries can make informed decisions. You can follow us at https://m.facebook.com/MEDLANT/ or contact the MEDLANT regional public affairs officer, Tia Nichole McMillen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naval Medical Forces Atlantic, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, provides well-trained medical experts, operating as high performance teams, to project medical power in support of naval superiority. Led by Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, the command ensures the warfighter is medically ready; makes certain medical forces are manned, trained, and equipped to meet the operational mission; and increases the survivability of those who go in harm’s way.
MEDLANT Regional Public Affairs Officer, Tia Nichole McMillen, email@example.com.
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