CNO Gilday Issues a Message to the Fleet on the COVID Vaccine

15 December 2020
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sent a message to the fleet regarding the Navy’s plan to administer COVID-19 vaccines, Dec. 15.

Below is the text of his message:

The nation and the Department of Defense are beginning to administer vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These vaccines, which are currently voluntary, are a proven effective measure to better protect you, our Navy and our nation from this insidious threat.

Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 201215-N-SD610-003 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)
Staff at Naval Hospital Jacksonville prepare to unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination at on Dec. 15.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 201215-N-SD610-002 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Staff at Naval Hospital Jacksonville prepare to unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination at on Dec. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)
Sailors carry a container with COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 201215-N-SD610-001 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Sailors carry a container with COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Dec. 15, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)
Hospital corpsman unload a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine into a freezer at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 201215-N-MT837-1015 PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Dec. 15, 2020) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Karsten Foster, left, and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Hannah May unload a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine into a freezer at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Dec. 15, 2020. Vaccinations for the healthcare staff will begin Dec. 16. NMC Portsmouth is one of the first military treatment facilities in the Department of Defense to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dylan M. Kinee)

I ask that every member of our Navy team strongly consider receiving the vaccine not only for yourself, but for your shipmates, your family, and your fellow citizens. By maximizing vaccination among our force and maintaining our mitigation measures of physical distancing, mask-wearing, and handwashing, we will begin the return to normal. I will receive the vaccine shortly after it is made available to senior DoD leadership.

Initially, there will be a finite supply of COVID-19 vaccines, which will first be administered to DoD and civilian health care professionals and emergency responders those most at risk of exposure. Vaccinating this population will take time, likely into January. We will make the vaccine available more broadly through a tiered plan as production ramps up, prioritizing those executing our most critical missions. I ask for your patience until the vaccine is available for you, and your continued compliance with those health measures we currently have in place.

If you have questions about the vaccine, please ask your medical provider. Your health remains our number one priority and Navy leadership, all of us, remain committed to being transparent about the vaccine delivery and dissemination plan.

I continue to be extremely proud of our collective resilience and grit during this challenging time. But we must REMAIN vigilant, even after vaccinations occur.

Safe and healthy is the goal for 2021! Together, we will make this happen.

Nevermore proud to be your CNO.

 

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