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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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DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

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

Policy

This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DoD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DoD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components.

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