About 4,000 Military Medics Help Out at FEMA Vaccine Centers
SAN ANTONIO, TX – In an effort to get as many COVID-19 shots into arms as possible as quickly as feasible, the military is continuing to supply personnel to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency at mass vaccination sites.
At the end of March, another 860 DoD military medical and support personnel deployed to Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia, and was planning tol deploy to Indiana and Missouri, to support state-run, federally supported Community Vaccination Centers.
“Currently, our servicemembers, in support of FEMA and the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinate tens of thousands of Americans every day,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, Army North and Joint Force Land Component Command commander. “Once open, these five new sites will have the capability to administer up to 21,000 vaccinations daily, bringing our joint force close to 100,000 vaccinations a day.”
The Army is providing both Type 1 and Type 2 teams. According to FEMA, a Type 1 Team is capable of administering up to 6,000 vaccinations a day, while a Type 2 Team is capable of administering up to 3,000 vaccinations a day.
The military medical and support personnel join approximately 3,000 others from the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force already supporting federal vaccination efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As of the end of March, military personnel had administered approximately 1.7 million vaccines at the federal centers.
Meanwhile, the DoD was continuing to get its own personnel vaccinated.
“We are committed to contributing to the president achieving his goal of 200 million shots in 100 days,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Terry Adirim, MD, MPH, MBA, said during a briefing last month at the Pentagon.
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency said that depending on the rate at which vaccine supply is available and based on the uptake rate, every willing person in the DoD potentially could be vaccinated by early summer.
“Based on the projections that we have, both supply side and vaccination side, we do fully expect to be open to all … of our DOD eligible populations on or before the first of May,” Place said. “At current uptake rates for those who want to get it, we think by the middle of July or so … the department will be vaccinated.”
MHS currently is administering COVID vaccine at 343 sites around the world.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank every servicemember who has gotten vaccinated,” Adirim said. “They are not only protecting themselves but they’re also contributing to the safety of their teammates, their families and their communities.”
She also called for more military personnel to step forward to take whatever COVID-19 vaccine is eventually offered to them, explaining, “Vaccination is one critical part of getting our country back to normal, along with continued testing and adherence to public health measures like masking and social distancing. We just can’t let up at this point. Our DOD personnel have done a phenomenal job. I’m very proud of all of them.”
As of early last month, the DoD said 84% of vaccines it received had been administered, accounting for nearly 1.3 million total doses given at 335 sites. In addition, 81,256 vaccinations at retail pharmacies were administered to MHS beneficiaries.