Skip to main content

Military Health System

DOD vaccinating personnel worldwide against COVID-19

Image of two soldiers, wearing masks: one is getting a vaccine in his left arm. Click to open a larger version of the image. Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Corey Jackson receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Navy Hospitalman Christopher Wamsley at Naval Station Rota, Spain. U.S. Naval Hospital Rota began administering the vaccine to frontline health care workers and first responders earlier this month. (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Carpenter.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

A little more than a month after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines Dec. 12 and Dec. 17, respectively, vaccines have been increasingly and successfully distributed and administered to Department of Defense personnel worldwide in a safe and effective phased approach.

In the initial controlled distribution and administration phase, DOD delivered its initial allotment of just under 44,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to 13 select military installations in the continental United States and three international DOD installations.

The 16 DOD locations received their vaccine doses on time and with no loss of product, stated Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, the week the rollout began, allowing for successful administration to prioritized voluntary populations following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance within 24 hours of receipt. The prioritized recipient population in the initial phase (1A) included critical medical staff and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight to protect them while they continued to care for their patients.

Phase 1A also included Armed Forces Retirement Home residents; health care and support staff at military hospitals and clinics along with non-clinical staff who support patient care with a high risk of exposure; outpatient health care and support personnel, including National Guard and Reserve personnel as well as active-duty service members deploying or supporting COVID-19 response operations. The data-driven, phased approach to vaccination creates a feasible, scalable, and safe plan for effective vaccine distribution, administration, and monitoring.

“It’s important to protect our health, our families, and our community by making the voluntary choice to get the vaccine when it’s made available to you,” said Place. “The vaccine offers the best-known protection from the effects of COVID-19.”

In early January, the distribution plan was expanded to include hundreds more DOD sites around the world to which DOD can now deliver between 25,000 to 30,000 daily doses depending on allocation. As production increases and more personnel choose to receive the vaccine, those numbers are expected to increase daily until the majority of DOD’s 11.1 million personnel can be vaccinated.

“Over 250 DOD immunization sites have received and are administering COVID-19 vaccines,” said Air Force Col. Tanya Rans, chief of the Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Healthcare Division. “DOD is distributing vaccine to immunization sites globally as quickly as possible.”

However, who can get the vaccine may differ at each immunization site based on quantity of vaccine received, desire for a shot by those in the phase, and throughput, she said.

“Some sites have moved from phase 1A to phase 1B, and others have not yet received vaccine,” she added.

The second phase includes national critical capabilities; personnel preparing to deploy outside the continental United States; personnel preparing to deploy in the next three months, including military civilians and contractors authorized to receive immunization from the DOD; beneficiaries age 75 or older; and front-line essential workers, including those in the education and youth and child services staff sector; eligible defense manufacturing, DOD corrections staff; DOD postal service staff; DOD public transit workers; and commissary and other installation food service or agricultural workers. Although most sites are vaccinating phase 1B recipients, each medical treatment facility has the flexibility to move within the population schema according to its population needs and vaccine availability.

“Each service or the U.S. Coast Guard, as appropriate, determines immunization sites and quantity to be received based on the allocation provided to DOD by the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Rans.

As distribution and administration efforts continue with positive responses and minimal reports of adverse reactions from recipients, those in phase 1C are next in line. These include eligible beneficiaries between the ages of 65-74; eligible beneficiaries between 16­64 with increased risk for severe illness as defined by CDC; personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, federal agencies, field activities, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Space Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve component designated as key, essential, or mission-essential; and DOD prisoners.

“Like most vaccines there are some expected adverse effects: Most commonly, soreness at the injection site, headache, and fatigue, but in almost all cases this subsided within two days,” said Place. “We will continue to be fully transparent about our experience within the DOD, and we’ll share that information with the CDC.”

According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Jan. 25—677,025 doses had been distributed among the DOD sites, and 346,180 initial doses had been administered. However, until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic is reduced based on numbers who have been vaccinated, masks and physical distancing are still necessary for everyone.

“The response from vaccine recipients has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Rans. “The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System through CDC is capturing all adverse events reported following receipt of COVID vaccine and will amend clinical recommendations based on any concerns identified.”

“As a physician, I recognize the decision to receive the vaccine is a personal one and the department’s policy is very clear that taking the vaccine is voluntary, but here’s my advice: I encourage you to learn the details of this vaccines’ safety profile,” said Place. “If you have questions, talk to your health care provider. For the huge majority of us, the risk of an adverse event from COVID-19 vaccine is much lower than the short- and long-term risk posed by the disease itself.”

You also may be interested in...

Get Protected With New COVID-19 Booster and Flu Vaccine

Article Around MHS
10/24/2022
Military medical personnel administering vaccine

There are two vaccines you should consider getting this Fall, and now you can get them both at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Collaborating In the ER: Reservists Assist, Learn in Community Hospitals

Article Around MHS
10/20/2022
Military medical personnel in medical training session

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic–when there were no vaccines, a shortage of health care workers, and hospitals were beyond capacity– the U.S. health care system needed help. Here's one of many ways the Department of Defense answered the call.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Time to Get Your Flu Shot and Your COVID-19 Booster, Too

Article
10/14/2022
Senior MHS officials and medics from the Pentagon stand together Oct. 13 after receiving their flu shots and bivalent COVID-19 boosters.."

It's flu shot time. Get your COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Infographic

Infographic
10/12/2022
COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Infographic

The #CDC recommends everyone ages 12 years and older get a single bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster, when eligible. You can get your COVI D-19 vaccine or booster at the same time as your season flu shot! Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination here: www.tricare.mil/Coronavirus #GetVaccinated #vaccineswork

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

Prevent the Spread of Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses Within Your Community

Article
10/11/2022
A person getting an injection on their arm.

As families return from summer vacation and students return to school, the influenza (flu) season is approaching while the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Get Boosted

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Get Boosted

Get Boosted!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, New

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, New

New Booster for Fall!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Boosters

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Boosters

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster are now available!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Did you know?

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Did you know?

Updated COVID-19 Boosters available!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bottom Line on Boosters

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bottom Line on Boosters

Bottom Line on Boosters: Stay up to date!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

DHA Form 207: COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Document v22

Form/Template
9/9/2022

The purpose of this form is to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the patient. (v22, Sept. 2022)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Immunization Healthcare Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors | Coronavirus

Ramstein Now Offers Novavax Vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/8/2022
Military medical gives Soldier a COVID-19 vaccine

The 86th Medical Group is now offering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to members 18 years and older in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to 17 Year-Olds

Article
8/30/2022
Air Force Staff. Sgt. fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine is Available for Those 12 Years' Old and Above

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

Article
8/29/2022
Marine on right gets a COVID-19 booster vaccination from a nursing student on his left.

Brooklyn Marine gets COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

How to Get Your Kids Up to Date on Vaccinations

Article
8/25/2022
Child wearing a mask getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Resources to help you get and keep your child’s immunizations up to date in time for back to school.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Back to School | Immunization Healthcare Division
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 32
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery