The Pentagon will deliver 44,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine next week

The member is vaccinating at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, April 11, 2019.

Joshua J. Seybert | American Air Force

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Wednesday outlined the initial steps in the agency’s plan to distribute and administer the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to more than 2 million active service, reserve and civil protection personnel – a huge logistical feat focusing on immunizing 16 key populations for the first time. .

The Department of Defense will begin marketing the first 44,000 doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine as early as next week.

In the first part of the three-phase approach, the Pentagon will offer the vaccine to health care providers, emergency services, public safety personnel, and members of the selected service and their dependents at 13 military facilities in the U.S. and three overseas.

The vaccine requires two doses of treatment to provide the highest level of protection against Covid-19, with a second, higher dose about a month later. Vaccination with Pfizer requires extremely cold storage, which can keep doses at minus 94 Fahrenheit.

“We have selected locations with extremely large cold stores, significant local priority populations, and a large enough medical staff for administration. We have selected military service locations, including active and backup components,” explained Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Director of the Pentagon Health Agency.

“As part of the initial phase of healthcare workers, emergency services, etc., there are very small, very visible senior leaders who voluntarily undertake to promote vaccination as a way of delivering safety and efficacy messages and to encourage all suitable individuals to administer vaccination.” Place said.

Defense officials added that vaccination is not currently mandatory, but is highly recommended.

“When a vaccine is first issued under an emergency permit, it is typically done on a voluntary basis,” Place said, adding that the introduction of the vaccine and the temporary practice was a public health mitigation effort by the CDC.

Defense officials underestimated concerns that the coronavirus poses a significant risk to U.S. service members who do not participate in the initial round of vaccinations.

Read more: The coronavirus poses a low risk to troops and military logistics, the Pentagon says

“We were lucky, most of our forces meet the age criteria and health status where we performed better than others,” said Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, about whether there are concerns about the U.S. military’s small population receiving vaccination. forces.