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Commander of Military Sealift Command Receives COVID-19 Vaccine

04 January 2021

From USN Military Sealift Command Courtesy Story

NORFOLK — Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer, Commander, Military Sealift Command (MSC), received his initial COVID-19 vaccination at the U.S. Navy’s Sewell’s Point Branch Medical Clinic in Norfolk, Va., Jan. 4.

Wettlaufer received the vaccination in an effort to demonstrate his confidence in the injection’s safety and to encourage MSC teammates to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as they become available.

“In order to fight a highly contagious and deadly virus like COVID-19, you need a highly effective vaccine,” said Wettlaufer. “The great thing is that we have a highly effective vaccine.”

The MSC Chief of Staff, Capt. Han Lynch, MSC’s Command Master Chief, Theron Fischer, and MSC’s Port Captain West, Susan Orsini, also received the COVID-19 vaccine. Orsini is a credentialed Civil Service Mariner with extensive experience sailing for MSC.

“Our goal is to increase MSC’s immunity threshold to COVID-19 so we can begin to normalize our daily operations,” Wettlaufer added. “The vaccine is the first step, of many future steps, towards getting us back to normal.”

Prioritized MSC personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, families, community, and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we received these vaccinations this morning, we took this step for our nation, our citizens, our Navy and our teammates at MSC,” Wettlaufer said.

Wettlaufer is scheduled to receive his second vaccination in two weeks.

MSC’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out utilizes a deliberate and phased approach and prioritizes personnel to receive the vaccine based on Center for Disease Control guidance and on the Department of Defense COVID-19 Task Force’s assessment of MSC’s unique DoD mission requirements.

Wettlaufer and the MSC leaders received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, according to branch medical clinic personnel.

All MSC personnel will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, and follow restriction of movement to protect our safety as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.

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