The Department of Defense has announced its deliberate and phased plan to distribute and administer initial and subsequent allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The distribution of the allocated COVID-19 vaccines will begin once the Federal Drug Administration authorizes the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and in accordance with Operation Warp Speed guidance.
The two key considerations that inform the Department’s plan are: 1) who will receive the vaccine; and 2) where the DOD can most effectively receive and administer the vaccine.
The Department prioritizes DOD personnel to receive the vaccine based on CDC guidance, which is informed by data gathered during vaccine trials about the effectiveness of a vaccine among demographic groups and the CDC assessment of the risks COVID-19 poses to certain demographic groups. DOD prioritization schema is consistent with CDC guidance and prioritizes those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential national security and installation functions, deploying forces, and those beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19 before other members of the DOD population.
Distribution will be conducted in phases. Due to limited availability of initial vaccine doses, the first phase will distribute and administer vaccines at select locations. Initial distribution sites were selected by the DOD’s COVID Task Force from sites recommended by the military services and U.S. Coast Guard, to best support several criteria:
- Anticipated supply chain requirements for initially approved vaccines (i.e. ultra-cold, bulk storage facility)
- Local population of at least 1,000 priority personnel across the military services to facilitate rapid vaccine administration
- And sufficient necessary medical personnel to administer vaccines and actively monitor vaccine recipients after initial and second-dose administration
That first batch of vaccines was distributed to 16 locations, including three overseas. 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
Initial vaccination sites in the continental United States (CONUS) are:
- Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, TX
- Willford Hall, Joint Base San Antonio, TX
- Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA
- Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC
- Navy Branch Health Clinic, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL
- Base Alameda Health Services (clinic), U.S. Coast Guard Base, Alameda, CA
- Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
- Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, CA (distribution from San Diego)
- Naval Hospital Pensacola, Pensacola, FL
- Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport MS (Keesler AFB will administer) (distribution from Pensacola)
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
- Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, DC (distribution from Walter Reed)
- Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
- U.S. Coast Guard Base Clinic, Portsmouth, VA (distribution from Portsmouth Naval Medical Center)
- Indiana National Guard, Franklin, IN
- New York National Guard Medical Command, Watervliet, NY
Initial vaccination sites outside of the continental United States (OCONUS) are:
- Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI
- Allgood Army Community Hospital, Camp Humphreys, Korea
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
- Kadena Medical Facility, Kadena AB, Japan
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. 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.
Source: Department of Defense