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

COVID-19 Vaccines: Benefits Still Outweigh the Risks

Military personnel getting vaccinated Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, were vaccinated on May 7, 2021, while in Bulgaria during exercise Swift Response ( Photo by: Army Maj. Robert Fellingham, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade).

Recommended Content:

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

Only a small fraction of people in the military community have experienced breakthrough infections after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination - and none of them have died, according to Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place.

Place revealed new data about breakthrough infections among people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a July 20 virtual town hall for DHA employees.

Place explained that the evidence shows how effective the vaccine has been and he encouraged all service members and others to get fully vaccinated.

"The fact of the matter is the efficacy is very good," Place said. "From a safety perspective, for those of us who are [fully] vaccinated, it is exceptionally uncommon for us to need hospitalization."

More than 2 million people in the Military Health System have received full COVID-19 vaccinations, Place said. Of that number, about 1,600 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

"How many of those have had to be hospitalized? Less than 50," he told nearly 2,000 employee town hall participants. "There have been no deaths among that hospitalized group."

Yet despite strong evidence of the vaccine's safety and efficacy, significant portions of the military and civilian populations remain hesitant to get the shot.

For those who remain skeptical, Place encouraged them to: "Have a true, meaningful conversation with somebody you trust or some buddies that you trust."

He suggested also talking to "your health care team, those family members that you trust and other members of the DHA that you may trust."

Place also shared his thoughts on the potential impact the unvaccinated population can have on their broader community.

Military personnel during a town hall meeting
DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ron Place discusses the importance of full vaccination with DHA's Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg during an employee town hall at DHA headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, July 20 (Photo by: Jaime Chirinos).

"I'm just concerned that there are a number of us who, for whatever reason, believe the best course of action is to not be vaccinated."

"I get it for the 19 year olds or the 16 year olds, the 24 year olds - 'I'm Superman. No bugs are going to beat me,'" he said.

"The answer to me then is the butterfly effect. How can we break that cycle" whereby an unvaccinated military service member may be asymptomatic, or minimally symptomatic, but spreads COVID-19 to family members and barracks mates, who then may spread the virus to others, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Echoing the motto of the San Antonio Market, Place said "it's not too late to vaccinate," because the pandemic is still with us.

He noted the uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country in recent weeks, largely driven by the Delta variant that spreads more easily than the variants which spread last year.

"No matter what metric you look at, it's worse. We thought we were in a good place based on [vaccination rates against] the variants that were in society at the time."

However, "this [Delta] variant is different. That means the vaccination level needs to go up," he said.

Discussing herd immunity, Place said: "It's not about 70%" of the armed services being [partially] vaccinated. He indicated that with our still somewhat limited understanding of this coronavirus, "to me the only number I can really be comfortable with is 100% [fully vaccinated]."

As of July 16, the Pentagon reported that 70% of military personnel have received at least one dose of one of the three COVID-19 vaccines, and 62% of service members are fully vaccinated.

In a same-day video, Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III stated that the military is being vaccinated with doses of the three vaccines "as fast as we can receive them."

"All the available vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for a simple reason: They are safe, and they are effective," Austin said in the video. "I got my shots, and I hope you will, too."

Learn more about vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant.

You also may be interested in...

Medical Leaders Address COVID-19 Concerns During Family Forum

Article
1/21/2022
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jemuel Macabali, from San Diego, Calif., gives the COVID-19 vaccine to staff at Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, Aug. 13, 2021.

Top health leaders talk about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the impact on the military community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy Hospital Corpsman steps into the breach in the war on COVID-19

Article Around MHS
1/18/2022
Hospitalman Hector Conde standing in front of a immunization office's refrigeration

First responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Article
1/11/2022
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus

We Can Do It (1201 x 901)

Infographic
1/10/2022
Rosie the Riveter wearing a face mask

We can do it: Simple measures can protect you and your community. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, and check out where and when you can get your booster! https://tricare.mil/coronavirus

Recommended Content:

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

We Can Do It (1081 x 1081)

Infographic
1/10/2022
Rosie the Riveter wearing a face mask

We can do it: Simple measures can protect you and your community. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, and check out where and when you can get your booster! https://tricare.mil/coronavirus

Recommended Content:

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

Quarantine vs Isolation

Infographic
1/10/2022
Quarantine vs. Isolation infographic

Been exposed or feeling symptoms of COVID-19? Make sure you understand the difference between quarantine and isolation to keep your community safe. https://tricare.mil/coronavirus

Recommended Content:

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

We Have the Tools

Infographic
1/10/2022
We have the tools to fight COVID-19 infographic

We have the tools to fight: Protect yourself and your community from the spread of COVID-19 with the right tools. Make sure you wear your mask, get vaccinated, and find your nearest testing site. Learn more https://tricare.mil/coronavirus

Recommended Content:

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

DHA Form 236: Pediatric (5-11 years) COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Documentation, v5

Form/Template
1/7/2022

This form is used to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the pediatric patient. (Version 5, January 2022)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Immunization Healthcare

Got Your 6 - Jan. 3, 2022

Video
1/4/2022
‘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

‘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!

Recommended Content:

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

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
12/30/2021
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Development of WRAIR’s Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

Article
12/28/2021
A vial of spike ferritin nanoparticle WRAIR's COVID-19 vaccine

Series of preclinical studies supports the Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

Recommended Content:

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

Immunization Experts are Central to COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Article
12/20/2021
Medical director at Fort Riley, Kansas receives a COVID-19 vaccination In his left arm from a tech in personal protective equipment.

Immunization Health Division at forefront of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

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

Military Health System Marks 1-Year Anniversary for COVID Vaccinations

Article
12/14/2021
FEmale Marine gets COVID 19 vaccination in left  arm at Camp LeJeune in December 2020

More than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered a year after first shots within MHS.

Recommended Content:

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

So others may breathe - Navy Medicine Respiratory Therapist cares for COVID casualties

Article Around MHS
12/13/2021
Military Health personnel posing for a picture

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tessa Hazard, a respiratory therapist, recently deployed to Alabama as a member of a COVID-19 response team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Public Health Center provides update on Long COVID risks

Article Around MHS
12/1/2021
COVID19 Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 44

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.