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

COVID-19 vaccine rollout ongoing in U.S. Army Central footprint

Two healthcare workers, wearing masks, adding the COVID-19 vaccine to syringes Army Specialists Michael Meza and John Cera, healthcare specialists with the 228th Combat Support Hospital, draw doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from vials at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Jan. 18, 2021. Camp Arifjan is utilizing a phased distribution of the vaccine, as specified by the Department of Defense, beginning with medical personnel and first responders. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Noel Gerig)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

The COVID-19 vaccination program in the U.S. Army Central’s area of operations is underway.

“The COVID-19 vaccine has begun coming into theater,” said Army Brig. Gen. Justin Swanson, commanding general of the Army Reserve 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Swanson is also the deputy commanding general of 1st Theater Sustainment Command, which is based at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and also has a forward deployed headquarters established at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. The forward deployed headquarters, which operates as an operational command post, or 1st TSC-OCP, is staffed with rotations from subordinate echelons of mobilized active-duty and reserve component units, providing sustainment and logistics support to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as well as to units throughout the Middle East.

The 1st TSC, working hand-in-hand with 3rd Medical Command-Deployment Support, coordinated the transport and storage of the vaccine in theater. The initial tranche or portion of the vaccine arrived around mid-January and administration began shortly after its arrival.

Those who received the initial doses of vaccine were at the top of a prioritized list of personnel, which 1st TSC developed in accordance with the Department of Defense’s vaccine distribution guidance.

“Some of the soldiers, even on our staff have been vaccinated—but only our medical personnel at this point,” said Swanson, who is himself a COVID-19 survivor.

“The priority is the same here as it is in CONUS,” said the general, who before his 1993 commission, served as a combat medic in the Louisiana National Guard. “As the vaccines and the number of doses grows, we have built a prioritization model for our entire footprint.”

In addition to prioritizing medical personnel, other military personnel targeted in the first phase of vaccinations are in jobs where their interactions with other Soldiers make them particularly vulnerable, he said.

The second tranche of vaccines, scheduled to arrive in the near future, will serve as the second doses for personnel, who received the first tranche, he said. Then, subsequent tranches are set to vaccinate personnel in Afghanistan and other regions.

Army Col. Jennifer Marrast Host, the commander of 3rd MCDS's forward headquarters at Camp Arifjan, said the vaccination program in theater is a priority for every one of her “Desert Medic” Soldiers.

The 3rd MCDS is responsible for executing strategic medical operations across the entire U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

According to the colonel, the vaccine administered by her soldiers is produced by Moderna, which requires two doses approximately 28 days apart.

"We watch someone very closely for about 15 minutes after the injection to make sure they are not having a negative response," she said. "After that, they are ready to get back to work." Marrast Host said the side effects are relatively minor.

"There might be some muscle aching, localized swelling or a low-grade fever-you might just feel under the weather," she said.

"It is more likely that you would have some of the side effects after the second dose, but it is also sometimes after the first one," she said.

The colonel said the most important consideration for rolling out the vaccine to specific regions or installations is the availability of freezers and refrigerators.

"The vaccine must be frozen as it is transported around," she said. "After it is thawed, it is good to be used for 30 days, as long it is kept refrigerated--but it cannot be moved.

Swanson said distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 mitigation are top priorities for the 1st TSC.

"What the 1st TSC will do from a distribution standpoint—one of the things that we do as our mission set—we will move the vaccine just like any other commodity that we move—and we move all commodities across the battlefield,” he said.

“Once it comes into theater, we will move it where it needs to be—any of the countries or locations, where we have U.S. forces—or forces that we will provide the vaccine for,” he said. “We have already gone through the first couple tranches of distribution and that will continue to grow, as will the number of doses continue to grow.”

The vaccine is currently voluntary for military personnel, but Swanson’s staff have surveyed troops to ask who is uncomfortable with the vaccine and who is willing to receive it.

“The vaccine is voluntary, at this point,” he said. “We understand who will volunteer to take the vaccine and who won’t—and we are prepared to support, once doses of vaccine hit the ground.”

You also may be interested in...

DoD COVID Symptoms Tracker

Infographic
5/12/2021
covid 19 dod symotoms tracker

COVID-19 DoD Symptoms Tracker

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of COVID-19

Coronavirus or Something Else

Infographic
5/12/2021
Check your coronavirus symptoms to see if it may be something else

Check your coronavirus symptoms to see if it may be something else

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of COVID-19

Do you have COVID19 Symptoms

Infographic
5/12/2021
updated cdc symptoms for covid19

COVID NAL Instagram

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of COVID-19

Is it COVID or Allergies Main

Infographic
5/12/2021
how to tell the difference between allergies and covid19

How to tell the difference between allergies and COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of COVID-19

Teleworking New Normal Breathe

Infographic
5/12/2021
breathe easy while teleworking

Breathe easy while teleworking

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient

Hand Sanitizer Parent and Child

Infographic
5/12/2021
Parent giving child hand sanitizer

Parent giving child hand sanitizer

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Prevent COVID-19

Helpline Graphic

Infographic
5/12/2021
COVID helpline graphic

COVID-19 helpline graphic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient

TOL Test Result MHS GENESIS

Infographic
5/12/2021
tol toolkit graphic showning how to get health records on MHS GENESIS

TOL toolkit graphic showing how to get health records on MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Testing

TOL Test Results TRICARE

Infographic
5/12/2021
you can get your covid19 test results on tol

TOL toolkit graphic showing how to get health records on TRICARE

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Testing

Updated COVID Symptoms

Infographic
5/12/2021
updated cdc symptoms for covid19

Updated CDC symptoms for COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Symptoms of COVID-19

Teleworking New Normal Get a Good Nights Sleep

Infographic
5/12/2021
sleep while teleworking

Get a good nights sleep

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient

Hand Sanitizer with Methanol

Infographic
5/12/2021
You should avoid using hand santizers that contain the wood alcohol, Methanol.

You should avoid using hand sanitizers that contain the wood alcohol, Methanol.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Prevent COVID-19

Is It Allergies or COVID-19?

Infographic
5/11/2021
Infographic that describes the difference between symptoms of allergies and those related to COVID-19

This Infographic provides a chart that outlines how to tell the difference between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms

Recommended Content:

Symptoms of COVID-19 | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Vaccines Save Lives

Infographic
5/6/2021
Polio and smallpox are almost non-existent because of vaccines. We can eliminate COVID-19 if you get vaccinated. Graphic showing that vaccines work and save lives. Includes a black and white image on the top half listing polio and smallpox on the left hand side. Includes a QR code to schedule vaccination appointments, and the TRICARE logo on the bottom right of the page.

Infographic showing that vaccines work and save lives. Includes a black and white image on the top half listing polio and smallpox on the left hand side. Includes a QR code to schedule vaccination appointments, and the TRICARE logo on the bottom right of the page.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Easy as 1-2-3 Graphic

Infographic
5/3/2021
Graphic stating scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment is easy and links to www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a scannable QR code, and the TRICARE and MHS logo on the bottom center.

Graphic stating scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment is easy and links to www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a scannable QR code, and the TRICARE and MHS logo on the bottom center.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccine Eligibility | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 8

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.