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...

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

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

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

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

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

May Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

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.