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COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

On Aug. 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued formal licensure of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now called COMIRNATY®. This licensure is based on rigorous studies demonstrating efficacy and safety through data collected over the past year.

Due to continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Department operations, Secretary Austin directed Secretaries of the Military Departments on Aug. 24, 2021 to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority. This requirement includes active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Services will specify implementation timelines according to each Service’s implementation plan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state their Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices uses a formal evidence process in their reviews, and holds public meetings where the evidence is reviewed before deliberation occurs. This process complements public deliberations carried out by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

Following CDC guidance, DOD will continue to adjust health protection protocols to the local conditions of the communities in which we serve. The Department’s priorities include:

  • Protecting our Service members, DOD civilians, and families
  • Safeguarding our national security capabilities
  • Supporting the whole-of-nation response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps protect you, your family, your community and our nation. Eligible and authorized TRICARE beneficiaries can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as available, at a DOD vaccination site.

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit Page TRICARE Beneficiary Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant.

The CDC confirms COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and recommend that all persons get COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible. In addition to the newly licensed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now called COMIRNATY®, several COVID-19 vaccines have been offered through FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.  

COVID-19 vaccine development has processes and procedures in place to help ensure the safety of any vaccine authorized for use. Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are:

  • Demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase three clinical trials
  • Authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Manufactured and distributed safely and securely

Visit the CDC Website to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

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ARNORTH military support to FEMA begins in Tennessee, continues in five states

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Prepared COVID-19 vaccine shots wait to be administered to an Airman. Members of the 134th Air Refueling Wing were eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines during Unit Training Assembly here May 2nd, 2021.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 20 military medical personnel deployed to Tennessee to support civilian healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

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COVID-19 can lead to long-term health concerns

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Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

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6th Medical Group Delivers Mandatory Vaccines

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An Airman from the 6th Medical Group prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for distribution at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Airmen from the 6th Medical Group began redistributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2021. This comes after the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on Aug. 23, 2021, mandating all active duty personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Got Your 6

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9/16/2021
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‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil

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Army Medicine Europe Provides Additional COVID Vaccinations for Immune Compromised

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Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

Army medical treatment facilities in Europe are now offering an additional dose of COVID vaccine for immune compromised beneficiaries.

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COVID-19 Booster Shots

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8/27/2021
If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

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Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

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DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

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Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

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LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

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LTG Place presents his concerns over those who are still unvaccinated during these unprecedented times. Take the right steps to prevent tragedy befalling your family and schedule your vaccine today at https://tricare.mil/vaccineappointments.

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Got Your 6: August 16, 2021

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‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil Find your local military provider at tricare.mil/MTF, or go to tricare.mil/vaccineappointments and schedule yours today!

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Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

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DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

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Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

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DOD's Whole of Government Approach to COVID is Working, Says Adirim

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Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion.

Dr. Terry Adirim, said she has been impressed by the DOD’s COVID-19 response since taking over as ASDHA, and that adaptation and innovation have played key parts in that response.

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Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

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"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

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Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

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