Tripler Army Medical Center is one of 16 locations chosen by the Defense Department as initial COVID-19 vaccination sites for the military.
“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 Pentagon said today in a release. FDA approval of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine is expected as early as Thursday.
As one of the 64 jurisdictions to which the U.S. government has allocated vaccines, the Defense Department said it plans to administer its initial allocation of 43,875 doses to continental and outside-continental populations of uniformed service members including the Coast Guard; both active and selected Reserve components, including members of the National Guard; dependents; retirees; civilian employees; and some contract personnel.
Twelve locations on the mainland selected for the initial vaccine distribution include military medical and other centers in Texas, Washington state, North Carolina, Florida, California, Virginia and Maryland as well as Indiana and New York National Guard commands.
Initial vaccination sites outside of the continental United States include Tripler and medical centers in South Korea, Germany and Japan.
In making its priority list, the Pentagon considered where it could most effectively receive and administer the vaccine.
The military prioritizes personnel to receive the vaccine based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that 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,” the Defense Department said.
Distribution will be conducted in phases. The Defense Department said initial distribution sites were selected by the Pentagon’s COVID Task Force from sites recommended by the military services and U.S. Coast Guard.
The chosen sites best support criteria that included a local population of at least 1,000 “priority personnel” across the military services to facilitate rapid vaccine administration and sufficient medical personnel to administer vaccines and actively monitor vaccine recipients after initial and second-dose administration, the military said.