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

Image of military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Click to open a larger version of the image. 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:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

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...

Anyone Can Get Vaccinated

Infographic
7/1/2022
Anyone Can Get Vaccinated

Now that anyone 6 months and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, share this graphic to encourage your community to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Vax Fax: Should I Get A COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Infographic
7/1/2022
Vax Fax: Should I Get A COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Some people may be eligible for a second booster shot. Share this graphic to communicate who may be eligible.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts

Vax Facts: Should I Get a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Infographic
7/1/2022
Vax Facts: Should I Get a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot?

This graphic outlines eligibility requirements for a first booster shot.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts

Mask Guidance

Infographic
7/1/2022
Mask Guidance

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Prevent COVID-19

20-004

Policy

Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Future of Nursing: Telehealth, More Innovation and Maybe Some Robots

Article
5/13/2022
Second Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse, briefs Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander, and other base leadership on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at the Keesler Medical Center June 16, 2017. (Photo: Kemberly Groue, U.S. Air Force)

The future of nursing is here due in part to changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus

‘I Love the Intensity’ – One Nurse Recalls Three COVID-19 Deployments

Article
5/5/2022
In 2020, Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra, an ICU nurse at the 633rd Medical Group, on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, was deployed to a North Dakota hospital to support a FEMA COVID-19 mission. In the photo, she trains on equipment used for critical patients in a North Dakota ICU. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra)

Nurses are unique, they follow a calling to care for others. Military nurses do that as well as serve their nation. For Nurses Week, the MHS highlights some of their own.

Recommended Content:

Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength | Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus

How One Military Nurse Persevered Through the COVID-19 Response

Article
5/5/2022
Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling, a medical-surgical nurse at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Family Health Clinic, Texas, was deployed to support the COVID-19 response in Afghanistan in 2021. They administered vaccinations to U.S. citizens, service members, and foreign military members as well as supported the preparation to withdraw from the country. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling)

Nurses across the Military Health System have played a vital role in providing routine patient care and meeting the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength | Coronavirus | Nursing in the Military Health System

Pandemic Spotlights the Vital Role of Military Lab Workers

Article
5/2/2022
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ashley Solomon, 18th Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of microbiology, unloads blood samples from a centrifuge at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 31, 2019. (Photo: Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks, U.S. Air Force)

MHS clinical labs produce results.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Helping Your Child to Cope with Grief and Losses Related to COVID-19

Article
4/28/2022
Shirley Lanham Elementary School students perform Taiko drumming during a Month of the Military Child celebration aboard the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ange-Olivier Clement, Naval Air Facility Atsugi)

Many military children have lost loved ones to COVID-19. How parents can help with the grief.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

How to Help Military Children Reconnect After Two Years of the Pandemic

Article
4/25/2022
Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, Space Launch Delta 30 public affairs specialist, and her son pose for a photo at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, March 25, 2022. During the month of April, we celebrate Month of the Military Child to highlight the sacrifices military children make on the home front while their parents serve the United States. (Photo: Airman Kadielle Shaw, Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs)

How parents can help children stressed by more than two years of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Main Graphic

Infographic
4/21/2022
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Main Graphic

If your military hospital or clinic offers these antiviral treatments as part of the COVID-19 Test to Treat Initiative, use these graphics to promote your services to your beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Treatment

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Graphic 2

Infographic
4/21/2022
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Graphic 2

If your military hospital or clinic offers these antiviral treatments as part of the COVID-19 Test to Treat Initiative, use these graphics to promote your services to your beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Treatment

COVID-19 Booster Effectiveness Remained High During Omicron Surge

Article
4/18/2022
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Mary Ashcraft, assigned to the combat ship USS Tulsa, administers a COVID-19 vaccine booster to Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class Anthony Johnson Jan. 10, 2022, at Apra Harbor, Guam. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Devin M. Langer, Command Destroyer Squadron 7)

Two new studies of active-duty service members show COVID-19 booster vaccines are effective, but uptake rates in the military community lagged behind the civilian population.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

8 Tips to Help Kids Adjust to Change during the New Pandemic Phase

Article
4/15/2022
A parent comforts his child while she receives a pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 28, 2022. (Photo: Airman 1st Class Anna Nolte, 18th Wing Public Affairs)

Parents should prepare their kids for the new normal of the ongoing pandemic, recognizing that the status of the disease can change quickly as new variants of COVID-19 emerge.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Children's Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 39
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 30, 2021

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.