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Military Health System

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Image of Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Darrin Bostater, of Submarine Squadron 16, based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, receives a COVID-19 vaccine in late January (Photo by: Deidre Smith, Naval Hospital Jacksonville).

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The Department of Defense (DOD) has now administered more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 1.3 million service members and beneficiaries, just a month after hitting the 1 million mark.

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), said the 2 million milestone is an achievement to be proud of, and said the military must continue to focus on administering the vaccines that are received and communicating vaccine availability to those eligible.

"Reaching 2 million doses is a remarkable milestone," Place said. "More importantly, 24 percent of the military force is fully immunized - an achievement which directly improves our nation's health and our military readiness. Looking ahead, DHA will remain focused on the vaccine program to ensure we reach all of our eligible beneficiaries as quickly as possible."

As of April 8, the DOD has administered 2.3 million doses, with more than 900,000 fully vaccinated. About 83% of the vaccines received had been administered, which is above the U.S. national average of 77%.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg, the senior enlisted leader of the DHA, said that along with an exceptional logistical chain, there has been widespread acceptance of the shots up and down the ranks.

"Through the education of our service members and our leadership, willing to step forward and accept the vaccine, it really allowed us to reach that mark so extremely fast," Gragg said. "The fact that these individuals, all of them, have volunteered to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic, it also comes to bear that they have realized and they understand that the enemy right now is COVID."

Still, the new milestone came as new cases of COVID-19 among all Americans have surged in large portions of the country, and deaths approached 550,000. But Gragg said that Military Health System professionals on the front lines, from medical augmentation teams to the vaccine shot teams mobilized to support civilian communities, have been doing nothing less than defending the nation. And that includes non-medical troops simply willing to walk into a tent and roll up their sleeve for a jab, he added.

"That is more of a testament to these individuals than people realize," Gragg said. "The fact that a generally younger and healthier population is stepping up and taking the vaccine when they aren't the ones being as adversely affected by the virus, itself further supports and highlights that they are stepping forward to not necessarily protect themselves, but to protect their fellow Americans. It is about protecting people you care about - your neighbor, grandparents, your friends, your community - that's what it is about."

According to Air Force Col. Jennifer Garrison, the DOD's operational planning team lead for its COVID-19 vaccination program, "The DOD is marching forward to administer vaccines we receive on a weekly basis. We are so grateful to our leaders, providers, and community partners for their efforts of getting shots into arms as quickly as possible."

Said Gragg: "I look forward to the day when we don't have this milestone to celebrate and our population is totally protected, and COVID is in our rear-view mirror or something that is controlled because we've all done the right thing."

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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.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification

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This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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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Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

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Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

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

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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.

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Last Updated: August 10, 2022
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