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

DOD Officials Announce Distribution Plan for Initial COVID-19 Vaccine

Image of Mr. McCaffery speaking at a podium at the Pentagon. Thomas McCaffery, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, briefs reporters at the Pentagon on the department’s phase, standardized and coordinated strategy for distributing and administrating COVID-19 vaccines, Dec 9, 2020. (DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany Chase.)

Recommended Content:

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

Regarding the initial COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Defense Department officials announced a phased and coordinated strategic plan for distributing and administering the initial COVID-19 vaccines.

Chief Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Rath Hoffman; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery; and, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director, Defense Health Agency, described the plan at a press briefing in the Pentagon today.

"In the coming days we expect the department to receive its first allotment of the vaccine," McCaffery said, noting that DOD is expected to receive around 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the initial phase, as early as next week, for immediate use.

An additional 44,000 doses would then be required for the follow-up dose in the two-shot series. 

Per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance, DOD will administer the first batch to health care providers and then in DOD long-term care facilities, to high-risk populations, those in critical national capability positions and finally, healthy populations, McCaffery said. 

That first batch of vaccines will be distributed to 16 locations, including three overseas. That delivery McCaffery termed a "control pilot."

The 16 sites were selected based on a sizable DOD population of high priority personnel, cold storage capability and sufficient medical personnel to administer the vaccines and monitor recipients after receiving them, he said.

As soon as the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization, or EUA, the DOD's allocation will be pre-positioned at those 16 sites. After issuance of the EUA, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, will meet to review the EUA, The ACIP will then vote to recommend a vaccine, how it should be disseminated and who should receive it first, and then the order of the follow-on recipients.

"We expect to have shots in arms of DOD personnel within 20 to 48 hours from the time the ACIP issues its final recommendation," McCaffery added.

As lessons from the control pilot are learned, and more vaccines are made available over time, additional locations will be added, and additional personnel, besides health care providers, will be added, he said. Eventually, all department personnel will be eligible to be vaccinated: active and selective reserve components, including the National Guard, family members, retirees, DOD civilians and select DOD contractors.

"Future allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine will focus on vaccinating priority populations quickly and safely, while simultaneously refining the intricate planning for the delivery of larger volumes of vaccine in future waves," McCaffery said.

The department will prioritize DOD personnel to receive the vaccine based on the CDC guidance and on the department's COVID Task Force assessment of unique mission requirements, he said.

"The department's priorities are protecting our service members, our civilian employees and families and safeguarding our national security capabilities in supporting the whole of government response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said McCaffery. 

The department's plan to distribute the vaccine DOD-wide was developed in collaboration with Operation Warp Speed and CDC guidance, he said.

Place encouraged DOD personnel to take the vaccine when it becomes available, because as for now, it is voluntary.

"While we await final approval from the FDA, the preliminary data on the safety and effectiveness of the two vaccine candidates is highly encouraging and we're recommending that everyone take the vaccine when it becomes available to protect yourselves, your families, your shipmates, your wingman your battle buddies and your communities," Place said. 

The other vaccine he spoke of is made by Moderna and is expected to be made available to the department in the near future.

"As with most vaccines, some people may experience small adverse effects such as arm soreness, fatigue, even a fever," Place said. "The department will be fully transparent about any adverse effects that are reported and will share this information with the CDC."

Hoffman added his agreement with Place: "Our goal is to be transparent with the force about what is happening, and to encourage our personnel to use the vaccine."

You also may be interested in...

Additional Dose of mRNA

Infographic
2/3/2022
Additional Dose of mRNA

Should I get an additional dose of the mRNA Vccine?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Compromised Immune System

Infographic
2/3/2022
Compromised Immune System

Do you have a compromised immune system? The CDC recommends you get an additional primary dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

VaxFacts: Should I get a booster?

Infographic
2/3/2022
VaxFacts: Should I get a booster?

Should I get a COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts

Preteens Teens Can Get Boosted Too

Infographic
2/3/2022
Preteens Teens Can Get Boosted Too

Preteens and Teens can get boosted, too! The CDC recommends a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for preteens/teens ages 12 and older, 5 months after their second shot.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Vaccines for Children

DOD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 8

Technical Document
1/31/2022

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip (Page 2)

Infographic
1/27/2022
Formulary Search Tool Buckslip (Page 2)

The back side of a buck slip. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. QR code is on the right and links to the search tool. The TRICARE and Express Scripts logo are on the bottom left.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip (Page 1)

Infographic
1/27/2022
Formulary Search Tool Buckslip (Page 1)

The front side of a buck slip. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. Links to esrx.com/tform. Has three graphics grouped together on the right hand side.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Oregon National Guard surging to support hospitals again

Article Around MHS
1/27/2022
Oregon Army National Guard touring a hospital

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are increasing support of hospitals throughout the state in their second hospital relief mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Readiness Capabilities

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip: Color

Publication
1/27/2022

A color copy of buck slips on the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. Includes a QR code, and features a link to esrx.com/tform. ESI and TRICARE logos are on the bottom right.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip: Black and White

Publication
1/27/2022

A set of three, black & white buck slips on the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. Includes a QR code, and features a link to esrx.com/tform. ESI and TRICARE logos are on the bottom right.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Public Health nurses offer insights on living with COVID-19 now, looking into future

Article Around MHS
1/25/2022
The Challenges of Living with COVID

One of the more challenging jobs for any public health professional is dealing with unpredictability inherent in outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Do You Have COVID-19? Influenza? Or is it RSV? Here’s What to Look For

Article
1/24/2022
Military personnel preparing a COVID-19 test sample for processing

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19/RSV/Flu will help your medical treatment

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Coronavirus

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
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 34
Refine your search
Last Updated: March 31, 2021

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.