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One hundred and thirty-nine Sailors assigned to Navy Medicine East and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two are supporting one of two CVCs in New York as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Health and Human Services national effort to speed the pace of COVID-19 vaccination administration efforts.
During his visit, MCPON Smith spoke with Sailors to better understand best practices and lessons learned while serving at these sites. During his visit, he was able to attend an all-hands call for Sailors who were being recognized for their work. He expressed his gratitude and emphasized the importance of their role.
“What you guys are doing to help build confidence and trust in this community — pays dividends that you may never fully understand,” Smith said. “Think about the 82,000 shots your team has administered so far. I’m sure many of them will have prevented the loss of life and spread of COVID-19. I can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing.”
The other CVC, located in Brooklyn at Medgar Evers College is supported by 139 Air Force personnel. Both New York CVCs are able to vaccinate up to approximately 3,000 people a day. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Randy Nash, assigned to the CVC in Queens noted that this was one of the most rewarding things he has done in his career.
“It’s been an honor. I’ve been in for 15 years and of all the places I’ve been to, from Iraq to the (USNS) Comfort — to be here in America — it’s an honor to serve our own citizens,” Nash said. “I’m happy to be a part of it. There are so many thanks from these people, they’re so nice. A lot of respect, gratitude, and thanks.”
The Department of Defense’s large-scale logistical and medical capabilities has made it possible to support FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services whole-of-government vaccination administration efforts. Since March 2020, U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command's Joint Force Land Component Command, has overseen DoD's COVID-19 response operation.
As of March 15, approximately 2,900 military medical and support personnel from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force have administered approximately 700,000 vaccines in 11 states and one territory as part of the federal vaccine response to the pandemic.
For more information regarding CVCs, please refer to the FEMA Community Vaccination Centers playbook at: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_community-vaccination-centers_playbook_03-12-2021.pdf.
MCCS Stacee McCarroll
Communications Director, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer
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