The Department of Defense announced its deliberate and phased plan Dec. 9 to distribute and administer initial and subsequent allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Department continues to work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
As one of the 64 jurisdictions to which the United States government has allocated vaccines, the DOD plans to administer its initial allocation of 43,875 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the continental United States, or CONUS, and outside the continental United States, or OCONUS, populations of DOD uniformed service members, both active and Selected Reserve components, including members of the National Guard; dependents; retirees; civilian employees; and select DOD contract personnel as authorized in accordance with DOD regulation.
The two key considerations that inform the Department’s plan are who will receive the vaccine; and 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.
The distribution will be conducted in phases. Due to the 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);
- The local population of at least 1,000 priority personnel across the military services to facilitate rapid vaccine administration;
- Sufficient necessary medical personnel to administer vaccines and actively monitor vaccine recipients after initial and second-dose administration.
Initial vaccination sites in the continental United States (CONUS) are:
- Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
- Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas
- Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington
- Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Navy Branch Health Clinic, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida
- Base Alameda Health Services (clinic), U.S. Coast Guard Base, Alameda, California
- Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California
- Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, California (distribution from San Diego)
- Naval Hospital Pensacola, Pensacola, Florida
- Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport, Mississippi (Keesler Air Force Base will administer) (distribution from Pensacola)
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
- Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C. (distribution from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center)
- Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia
- U.S. Coast Guard Base Clinic, Portsmouth, Virginia (distribution from Portsmouth Naval Medical Center)
- Indiana National Guard, Franklin, Indiana
- New York National Guard Medical Command, Watervliet, New York
Initial vaccination sites outside of the continental United States are:
- Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Allgood Army Community Hospital, Camp Humphreys, Korea
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
- Kadena Medical Facility, Kadena Air Base, Japan
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.
Information on the DOD vaccine distribution plan and population scheme can be found at media.defense.gov/2020/Dec/09/2002548827/-1/-1/0/DOD-COVID-19-VACCINE-DISTRIBUTION-PLAN-AND-POPULATION-SCHEMA.PDF
The memo for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance dated Dec. 7, 2020, can be found at media.defense.gov/2020/Dec/08/2002548508/-1/-1/0/CORONAVIRUS-DISEASE-2019-VACCINE-GUIDANCE.PDF.