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Military Health System

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Image of Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. . Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

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Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Since the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, it's very likely the vaccine will soon become mandatory for Defense Department personnel, the Pentagon press secretary said.

"Now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, the department is prepared to issue updated guidance, requiring all service members to be vaccinated. A timeline for vaccination completion will be provided in the coming days, John F. Kirby said at a press briefing.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority. "These efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live."

The Pfizer vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty and is for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals age 16 and older. The vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose to certain immunocompromised individuals, according to the FDA.

In other COVID-19 news, Kirby said medical personnel at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, are conducting COVID-19 screenings for Americans and eligible Afghan evacuees who exhibit signs or symptoms of the disease.

COVID-19 screenings also take place at the temporary safe havens and upon arrival in the United States, he said.

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Consolidated Department of Defense Coronavirus Disease 2019 Force Health Protection Guidance

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Consolidates and updates the Department’s guidance regarding vaccination verification, vaccination status, COVID-19 testing, surveillance and screening testing, personnel protection on-site mask requirements, (e.g., DHA military medical treatment facilities, meetings, travel), and the protection of personally identifiable information.

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DOD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

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Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the DHA’s implementation of the DOD’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

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Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

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Establishes the DHA's procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits for enduring COVID-19 support.

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The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Memorandum, based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) and (d), establishes the DHA’s procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs). This memorandum cancels and replaces DHA- Policy Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020). A change was issued since the cancelled Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020), the Attachment titles were updated to reflect that Attachments 1, 2, and 4 are considered Policies as opposed to Guidance.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2021
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