Skip to main content

Military Health System

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Image of Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021. (DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 and other such coronaviruses likely will stay in the environment and continue to mutate, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, said.

"And we're going to have to deal with it," he told participants today at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition at National Harbor, Maryland, on the topic of the COVID-19 response and post-pandemic national security.

The United States is in an "OK place, but not a great place," at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding, "I think one of the things that many of us believe — which is a fallacy — is that [COVID-19] is going to go away. It's not going away, just like influenza is not going away. And the thing about many viruses is they tend to mutate, and they tend to do things that keep them alive."

One of the things people should feel comfortable with is the Defense Department medical team has insatiable curiosity, he told the audience, adding that medical research is a continuous process of improvement.

Place said the first order of illness always calls for prevention, followed by diagnosis.

"We're interested in taking care of everybody — service members, family members, retirees — but the Military Health System exists for the military," the general said. "That's our purpose. And so we think about service members and what we can do to keep them healthy.  … What piece of gear, what piece of anything can we use to prevent anything bad from happening to them?" It can be something infectious such as a cold, or an emerging injury, he noted.

Looking at COVID-19 from a military scientific perspective, it is a biological event, he said. And the COVID-19 vaccine should be considered biological body armor.

However, the general said, "Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from influenza, and while most of us in the uniformed services get vaccinated, most Americans actually don't. That's a problem for us."

The reason the United States has such a suite of good vaccines "isn't because that magical thinking happened by some manufacturers in the spring of 2020," Place said. "This is [research] based on years, in some cases, and more than a decade of research on how to take the vaccination methodology to a new level."

There are huge improvements in the way we're looking at how vaccines work, he said. "And I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time." He warned, however, that getting that peace of mind probably won't happen this year.

"We will get to a place where it's going to be another infectious disease that we worry about, or we think about — much like influenza, measles or tetanus" where people get vaccinations to ward off diseases, Place said. "It's going to be part of our reality for a long time."

You also may be interested in...

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, New

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, New

New Booster for Fall!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Get Boosted

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Get Boosted

Get Boosted!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Boosters

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Boosters

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster are now available!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Did you know?

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bivalent Booster, Did you know?

Updated COVID-19 Boosters available!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19: Bottom Line on Boosters

Infographic
9/19/2022
COVID-19: Bottom Line on Boosters

Bottom Line on Boosters: Stay up to date!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine

Infographic
8/18/2022
COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine

The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanated includes two doses, 21 days apart. Remember to mark your calendar and schedule time for your second dose.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Types of COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccines

Infographic
8/18/2022
COVID-19 Vaccines

How COVID-19 Vaccines Work – There are three types of vaccines currently available: mRNA, subunit protein, and viral vector. Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccine. Novavax is a subunit protein vaccine. Janssen is a viral vector vaccine. All products resemble a virus for the immune system to fight.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vax Fax: Should I Get A COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Infographic
7/1/2022
Vax Fax: Should I Get A COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Some people may be eligible for a second booster shot. Share this graphic to communicate who may be eligible.

Recommended Content:

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

Mask Guidance

Infographic
7/1/2022
Mask Guidance

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities.

Recommended Content:

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

Anyone Can Get Vaccinated

Infographic
7/1/2022
Anyone Can Get Vaccinated

Now that anyone 6 months and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, share this graphic to encourage your community to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

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

Vax Facts: Should I Get a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Infographic
7/1/2022
Vax Facts: Should I Get a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot?

This graphic outlines eligibility requirements for a first booster shot.

Recommended Content:

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

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Graphic 2

Infographic
4/21/2022
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Graphic 2

If your military hospital or clinic offers these antiviral treatments as part of the COVID-19 Test to Treat Initiative, use these graphics to promote your services to your beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

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

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Main Graphic

Infographic
4/21/2022
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Main Graphic

If your military hospital or clinic offers these antiviral treatments as part of the COVID-19 Test to Treat Initiative, use these graphics to promote your services to your beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

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

Make Guidance for DOD Facilities

Infographic
2/3/2022
Make Guidance for DOD Facilities

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities.

Recommended Content:

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

VAXFacts TRICARE coverage Vaccine

Infographic
2/3/2022
VAXFacts TRICARE coverage Vaccine

Will TRICARE cover the COVID-19 Vaccine? Yes. TRICARE offers the vaccine itself at no cost, but there may be a cost based on your plan for an office visit or if you require follow-on care.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 01, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery