Tripler Army Medical Center said it received a single-box shipment of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine today at about noon and will start giving inoculations Wednesday morning.
The Defense Department has said the vaccine goes out in batches of 975 doses, although Tripler said it could not reveal the number of doses it received.
Gov. David Ige was at Tripler for the vaccine arrival and observed as it was taken out of a specially-designed dry ice-filled insulated container and loaded into a hospital ultra-cold freezer, hospital spokeswoman Mackenzie Walsh said.
Tripler said on its Facebook page that the Defense Department “is implementing a data-driven, phased approach” for vaccine distribution for the military as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The limited amount of Pfizer vaccines provided to Tripler Army Medical Center in this initial shipment is intended to test the logistics of distribution and will be allocated according to the DoD population schema which prioritizes health care providers, health care support personnel, and emergency services and public safety personnel,” Tripler said.
As additional vaccine is received, “we will move through the various tiers which include all active component, reserve component, TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select beneficiaries, and select DoD civilians and contract personnel authorized to receive immunizations,” the hospital said.
Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use approval, the vaccine is voluntary but recommended by the military.