Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Get the COVID-19 vaccine you can and get it now, Fauci and Place say

Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Army Spc. William Hunter, right, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Navy Chief Damage Controlman Solita Livingston at Navy Branch Health Clinic Chinhae, Republic of Korea, Jan. 8. Soldiers assigned to the 549th Medical Hospital Center, 65th Medical Brigade volunteered to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to sailors who were identified as frontline personnel by their commands (Photo by: Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Michael Chen).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Get a COVID-19 vaccine, and get it as soon as it's available to you.

That's the message from President Biden's Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen (Dr.) Ron Place during recent town halls with military families addressing the safety, efficacy and availability of the vaccine.

"You're part of the solution to this outbreak," explained Fauci, emphasizing that the vaccine is needed to protect not only service members, but their families and acquaintances as well.

"You've got to think of your own health, which is really very important, but you've got to think about your societal obligation, including people close to you personally as well as other members of families of other individuals," he said.

"Because by getting infected, even though you may not know it, you may be inadvertently transmitting the infection to someone else, even though you have no symptoms," Fauci said.

Fauci and Place addressed thousands of military families during a second virtual town hall events hosted by Blue Star Families, a non-profit Military/Veteran Service Organization dedicated to military family matters, and the American Red Cross. The initial virtual town hall was held Feb. 4.

Military health personnel wearing face mask put vaccines into a freezer
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Karsten Foster (left) and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Hannah May unload a shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations into a freezer at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia on Dec. 15 (Photo by: Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Dylan M. Kinee).

Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet thanked Fauci for his participation in both town halls addressing concerns and questions of military families. "After our last town hall, we found that 63% of [Blue Star Family survey] respondents who had been opposed or undecided before they listened to us reported that the event increased their likelihood of receiving the vaccine," she told Fauci. "That's a great result ... that's why we asked you to come back."

During the March 4 town hall, Place said the Department of Defense had administered almost 1.3 million total doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at 335 DOD sites around the world. As of March 11, this number has now increased to nearly 1.5 million vaccines administered. Additionally, more than 82,000 vaccinations have been administered to Military Health System beneficiaries at retail pharmacies, Place said.

He agreed that there is vaccine hesitancy among military service members but asked them to "observe and think it over. Speaking as a physician, the safety and effectiveness of the approved vaccines are exceptional," he said. "And every passing week the evidence only grows stronger … I'm certain that we will continue to see increased confidence with every passing week."

While supply is increasing and the DoD continues to limit vaccines to certain groups under Tier 1 of the distribution plan, Place said he expects that most DOD vaccination sites will move to Tier 2 by April. Tier 2 means the vaccines will be available to MHS families in the DOD.

"When your tier comes up, no matter where you are, in the United States, OCONUS (outside the continental United States), coming from OCONUS to the United States, when your tier comes up you get the vaccine," Place said.

Fauci emphasized that family members "are very important in encouraging vaccination" in military service members. "Young, strong healthy men and women's chances are very, very small in getting COVID-19, but we have examples. Some get only a moderate degree of symptoms, but they linger."

Asked whether holding off until a specific vaccine becomes available is a good strategy, Fauci advised: "Get the one you can get now." Janssen's one-shot vaccine recently received Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization, so now there are three vaccines available to the public.

He also said to not wait to get vaccinated because of fear of the COVID-19 variants from South Africa, Brazil, and Great Britain. "Get vaccinated and get a high enough titer (a measure of antibodies in the blood). That will give enough of a cushion to protect against the variants."

To further allay hesitancy among service members to get vaccinated, he called the likelihood of serious adverse reactions to the vaccines "vanishingly small."

During a video message aired at the town hall, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stressed the "need to know the facts" but acknowledged it is sometimes hard to know whom to believe when it comes to COVID-19.

"We need to remember this is a personal decision" and "to think about your response to people around you" when deciding whether to get vaccinated. Nonetheless, "We need every voice in this fight to get out the word that the vaccines are safe," Austin said, calling the vaccination effort "paramount to our nation's security" and "a trust our military family has bestowed on us."

You also may be interested in...

AFMES upgrades tech during COVID-19

Article
5/8/2020
Image of two technicians with a CT scanner machine

The new custom built scanner replaces a nearly 15-year-old scanner that was running on dated technology.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Coronavirus

The evolution of military nursing

Article
5/8/2020
Image of vintage military nurses

A look back on nurses who blazed the trail for nurses today

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

Defending the Homeland: 'I Am Navy Medicine, helping stop the spread of COVID-19'

Article
5/7/2020
Image of nurse wearing a mask

NMRTC Bremerton’s Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) is a microcosm example of nurses – and teamwork - in action.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | Nurses Week

MHS Nurse Advice Line proves to be invaluable during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/7/2020
Image of military nurse on the phone

Learn about the NAL and other ways to get advice on COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

Defending the Homeland: DHA collaborates to further sequence the SARS-CoV-2 Code

Article
5/6/2020
Image of person testing genomes in a lab

Scientists race to understand COVID-19 building blocks and find a vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor Honors Nurses during National Nurses Week

Article
5/6/2020
Image of military nurses

The MHS theme of 2020 National Nurses Week is “Integrating for Excellence.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

DoD to honor nurses during National Nurses Week 2020

Article
5/6/2020
Image of an OR nurse with mask and protective suit

National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and culminates May 12.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

Be Cyber Vigilant and Avoid COVID-19 Scammers

Article
5/5/2020
Soldier sitting in front of two computer monitors

Take these steps to protect your personal information

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Cybersecurity Awareness

MHS expedites COVID-19 and flu test results

Article
5/4/2020
Image of technician taking a nasal swab of a patient

Find out how to access results and stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Mobility Airmen conduct historic first aeromedical evacuation mission using Transport Isolation System

Article
5/4/2020
Image of three people exiting an aircraft

The TIS is an infectious disease containment unit designed to minimize risk to aircrew, medical attendants, and the airframe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Engagement

CDC maintains childhood immunization guidelines during COVID-19

Article
5/1/2020
A child receives a vaccine during a visit to the clinic.

What you need to know about getting your child vaccinated

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

COVID-19: Know symptoms and next steps to help ensure full recovery

Article
4/30/2020
Soldier taking the temperature of another soldier

Symptoms of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army veterinarians post FAQ for pet owners to Army Public Health Center COVID-19 website

Article
4/30/2020
Woman laying on couch with her dog

Studies are underway to investigate human to animal transmission in multiple animal species.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: WRNMMC on front line of COVID-19 war

Article
4/29/2020
Image of soldiers and businessman in suit walking through an emergency shelter lined with beds and medical equipment

For patient and staff safety, WRNMMC started restricted access control points March 12.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Amid COVID-19, seasonal influenza still a threat to force readiness

Article
4/29/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a flu shot to a navy officer.

New Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine available May 2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Influenza Summary and Reports | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere
<< < ... 31 32 33 34 35  ... > >> 
Showing results 511 - 525 Page 35 of 40

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.