Hospitalman Jessica Ferguson, left, immunizes Logistics Specialist 1st Class Willson Villavilencio aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold

The Pentagon introduced plans to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to US navy personnel at a press briefing Wednesday.

The vaccination course of will begin with virtually 44,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which is predicted to get emergency use authorization from the Food & Drug Administration.

Vaccination might be voluntary initially, as is normal follow with emergency use authorizations, nevertheless it might finally turn out to be obligatory.

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The Pentagon has introduced its plan for the vaccination of American forces towards COVID-19, a virus that has claimed over 1,000,000 lives around the globe. The vaccine might be voluntary, at the least initially.

The Department of Defense stated Wednesday that it plans to begin the vaccination course of by distributing 43,875 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is predicted to be granted emergency use authorization by the Food & Drug Administration, as a part of a “controlled pilot” program.

Vaccines might be distributed at 13 areas within the US and three further areas in South Korea, Germany, and Japan.

The first US navy and civilian personnel to obtain the vaccine might be well being care suppliers and help personnel, in addition to emergency providers and public security personnel. The vaccine will then be delivered to people concerned in essential nationwide capabilities and personnel making ready to deploy exterior the continental US and different essential employees.

The vaccine will then be distributed to high-risk beneficiaries and, lastly, the rest of the Defense Department inhabitants. By that time within the course of, the availability must be enough to standardize the vaccination course of such that it resembles the annual flu pictures.

Defense officers stated Wednesday that vaccinations might be voluntary initially.

“This is standard practice for an EUA. It is voluntary,” stated Thomas McCaffery, the assistant secretary of protection for well being affairs. “It is going to be voluntary for our forces.”

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There might be no repercussions for navy personnel who don’t get vaccinated. “Those who do not get vaccinated, they will be adhering to all of the existing public health mitigation measures that have been in place for months,” he stated.

But, that would change, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman stated.

He defined that at “some point, if the FDA does decide to fully license the vaccination, at that point, the voluntariness may change to mandatory as determined by the department.”

Because US navy personnel usually stay in shut quarters or routinely deploy to overseas nations, service members are required to obtain plenty of vaccinations throughout fundamental coaching and earlier than deployments exterior the continental US.

A COVID-19 vaccine may additionally quickly start to be administered to some members of the final inhabitants within the US.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have already submitted emergency use authorization functions to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for his or her COVID-19 vaccines. 

On Tuesday, the FDA launched an evaluation of Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, stating that it discovered “no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude issuance” of an emergency use authorization. The evaluation recommended that Pfizer’s vaccine, which is a two-dose remedy, would start offering safety towards COVID-19 inside 10 days after the primary dose. 

An knowledgeable panel is about to fulfill Thursday to make a suggestion to the FDA on whether or not to grant an emergency authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine. The panel’s chair advised the Wall Street Journal that “the likelihood of approval is high.”

A federal advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not too long ago really useful frontline well being care employees and long-term care facility residents must be the primary teams to obtain COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

The UK authorized Pfizer’s vaccine final week and commenced distributing it on Tuesday. Canada authorized the vaccine on Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden outlined a three-part plan to fight COVID-19 in his first 100 days, which included finishing 100 million vaccine pictures throughout that point interval. 

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