Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

From coast to coast, Navy personnel helping stop COVID-19 spread

Military personnel wearing face mask getting people ready for the COVID-19 vaccine Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz (left), from Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton, is supporting community-based vaccination sites in New Jersey. FEMA personnel along with the Department of Defense’s Title 10 Vaccination Support Team are helping residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 (Photo by: Kenneth Wilsey, Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton has sent several staff members across the continent to aid the Department of Defense Community Vaccination Center support.

Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz, chief experience officer and pharmacist, and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Erick Morcillo of surgical services are deployed as part of U.S. Northern Command to assist whole-of-government vaccination efforts in New Jersey

Schwartz and Morcillo are but two of approximately 6,000 Navy Medicine active and reserve component personnel deployed in support of operational COVID-19 missions, augmenting the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The two departed in March with a Navy and Army team of 23 members from across the nation. As part of DOD's Title 10 Vaccination Support Team, they have been working directly with FEMA, Joint Task Force Civil Support, New Jersey State Police, other law enforcement officers, local departments of health, AmeriCorps, Rutgers University nursing students, and other DOD staff and partners.

They are helping to provide Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 1,800 people weekly in three urban underserved communities in Orange and Newark, New Jersey.

"We are in a supporting role to FEMA and New Jersey including relevant departments of health," said Schwartz, working out of vaccination sites that include local churches and schools.

The DOD received a request from FEMA in February for support in administering COVID-19 vaccine at locations across the country. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the request to augment and expedite vaccinations nation-wide, ordering the first contingent of more than 1,000 active duty military personnel to support state vaccination sites. As Austin announced, DOD "must help the federal government move further and faster to eradicate the devastating effects of the coronavirus."

The fatality figures are daunting. The virus has claimed more American lives than those lost in all military campaigns from World War Two to the present.

"The greatest challenge to our country right now is the pandemic," Austin said.

Schwartz, Morcillo, and others on teams at approximately 17 community vaccination centers in 12 states are taking on that task to help eliminate the virus. Their efforts are adding up. According to statistics from U.S. Northern Command, as of April 16, 2021, over 3 million vaccinations have been administered by active duty DOD service members in communities across the country.

"Our team, along with other joint teams supporting urban underserved communities, is not only increasing the total number of people vaccinated, but is specifically increasing the percentage of people of color vaccinated," said Schwartz. "The soft power and healing hands we project in urban underserved communities throughout our COVID-19 vaccine mission has made a difference not only in the health of the people we serve, but also a lasting positive impact in hearts and minds."

With his Navy Medical Service Corps background and experience in pharmacy, Schwartz has provided crucial capability in vaccine handling.

"Once daily supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials is received, my expertise in pharmacy enables safe administration of vaccine," he said. "Throughout the day, we prepare dosages for administration and ensure other members on the team appropriately prepare dosages."

One of those team members is Morcillo.

"HM3 Morcillo has been instrumental in administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to community members. He has also served as a translator for those who speak Spanish," Schwartz said, adding that all service members have made a favorable impression in providing support in an area where the presence of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine uniforms isn't commonplace.

"Many of the community members I have interacted with have voiced their appreciation of the service we provide. I feel positive about the work we are doing, and having the community's support is very meaningful," said Schwartz.

You also may be interested in...

Defense Health Official Urges Personnel, Families to Wear Face Masks

Article
4/8/2020
Image of a soldier wearing a face mask

The face-covering mask can be fashioned from simple household items.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Talking to children about COVID-19 helps them feel safe and secure

Article
4/8/2020
mage of a mom and two kids sitting on house steps

USU expert advises tailoring messages for different age groups

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Joint Staff Surgeon Praises Americans Stepping Up to Help COVID-19 Victims

Article
4/7/2020
Image of hospital staff holding a meeting

It's about people helping people, flattening the curve, and slowing the spread of the pandemic so hospitals have a bit more time to prepare.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

New York City emergency room doc joins Air National Guard as flight surgeon

Article
4/6/2020
Image of flight surgeon

Paladino is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and also at Kings County Hospital Center.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

250-patient Army field hospital in Seattle expected to open next week

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldiers unpacking equipment

The field hospital...will relieve some of the burden on local hospitals, allowing them "freedom of maneuver" to better take care of patients who have COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

It’s complicated: Our relationship with social media

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldier lying down, looking at his phone

COVID-related story on perils of social media

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy secretary visits hospital ship Mercy in Port of Los Angeles

Article
4/2/2020
Image of man getting his temperature taken by service member wearing a mask.

Mercy deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

From the front lines to the home front, Military Medicine is always ready

Article
4/1/2020
Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place and two soldiers stand at a table with COVID-19 testing supplies

Military medicine is providing assistance in unprecedented ways

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Possible changes at MTF pharmacies in response to COVID-19

Article
3/31/2020
A military pharmacist choosing medication from a shelf

Find out the latest pharmacy policies at MTFs

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | TRICARE Health Program

Meeting Italian COVID-19 requirements, Army reopens dining facility

Article
3/31/2020
Picture of chef preparing food

The dining facility is fully operational, even providing food deliveries to people in quarantine

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Coping with the stress of social distancing

Article
3/31/2020
Image of person alone in room

How to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Defense Health Agency takes action against COVID-19

Article
3/30/2020
Image of medical worker  putting on gloves and a mask

From call centers to hospital reform, the Defense Health Agency is working quickly to keep citizens safe from the novel coronavirus

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

USNS Comfort to join New York's COVID-19 fight

Article
3/30/2020
Reservists in camouflage uniforms stand in line to check in

The Comfort is 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the people of New York, said Trump

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

200 new doctors, nurses to join military medical ranks early

Article
3/27/2020
Military medical professionals take their oath at their graduation from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences during a ceremony in Washington, May 18, 2019. More than 200 USU military medical students and graduate nursing students will be graduating early in 2020 to support their colleagues in the U.S. military health system amid the global coronavirus pandemic. (DoD file photo)

Military medical students will be graduating early to support the Military Health System amid the coronavirus pandemic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nursing in the Military Health System

Military scientists, engineers develop ventilator prototype in response to COVID-19

Article
3/27/2020
Dr. Andrew Schicho, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division mechanical engineer, led one of the five teams by building a ventilator prototype in support of the Department of Defense Hack-a-Vent Innovation Challenge. (U.S. Navy photo by Eddie Green)

The team decided that building ventilators was how they serve the best at a time like this.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < ... 21 22 23 24 25  ... > >> 
Showing results 361 - 375 Page 25 of 27

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.