It’s here! Shipments of COVID-19 vaccine kits have arrived in the United States and now the big questions remain: how will the vaccine be distributed, where are the most effective sites for distribution, and who will receive access first?
On December 9th, the Department of Defense announced its plan to administer allocations of the COVID-19 vaccines at 16 defense sites in the United States and abroad. These sites were selected based on cold storage capability, top priority personnel, and adequate medical staff to manage the vaccines.
Initial Allocation Plan
The Pentagon is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in the most efficient and equitable way.
In October 2020, the 64 jurisdictions – including the 50 states, 8 territories and 6 major metropolitan areas – began submitting their distribution plans. The Department of Defense is one of the 64 jurisdictions to which the U.S. government has allocated vaccines, making plans to administer its initial allocation of close to 44,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to sites in the Continental U.S. and abroad. The vaccine will go to groups of Department of Defense uniformed service members, both active and Select Reserve Components, including members of the National Guard; dependents; civilian employees; retirees; and certain DoD contractors.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be managed in phases. Since there is limited supply of initial vaccine does, the first phase will be distributed and administered at a few locations based on sites recommended by the military services and U.S. Coast Guard. When selecting a site, these criteria were used to select the best locations:
- Ability to house expected supply chain requirements for initially approved vaccines (i.e. ultra-cold, bulk storage facility);
- Local population of at least 1,000 priority personnel across the military services to enable quick vaccine management;
- Adequate necessary medical personnel to manage vaccines and recipients after initial and second-dose administration.
Below are the first twelve vaccination sites in the continental United States (CONUS):
- Base Alameda Health Services (clinic), U.S. Coast Guard Base, Alameda, CA
- Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
- Navy Branch Health Clinic, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL
- Naval Hospital Pensacola, Pensacola, FL
- Indiana National Guard, Franklin, IN
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
- Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC
- New York National Guard Medical Command, Watervliet, NY
- Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, TX
- Willford Hall, Joint Base San Antonio, TX
- Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
- Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA
Below are the initial four vaccination sites abroad:
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
- Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI
- Kadena Medical Facility, Kadena AB, Japan
- Allgood Army Community Hospital, Camp Humphreys, Korea
State COVID-19 Vaccination Plans Are Available
Each state has their own plan for distributing the coronavirus vaccine. In Illinois, a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses may be available this month. You can expect to see an increase in vaccine supply in 2021.
Here are a few of the requirements for vaccine providers in Illinois (as noted in the COVID-19 Vaccination Preparedness Planning):
- Enroll in the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE).
- Sign the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement and agree to follow CDC guidance on vaccine administration, storage, and handling
- Enroll in Vaccine Finder and report inventory daily
As vaccine becomes available, vaccine providers will gain access based on the overall jurisdiction’s population size and disease burden, while making equity a priority.
Find your state COVID-19 vaccination plan here:
On Thursday, a U.S FDA advisory panel endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, providing the greenlight for FDA leaders to authorize emergency mass distribution. After the Federal Drug Administration authorizes the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the official distribution of the allocated COVID-19 vaccines will begin.
More than 69 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally with the U.S. accounting for over 22% (15.5 million) of the total cases reported, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Unfortunately, death rates have been climbing as exposure spreads — more than 292,000 U.S. and over 1.4 million people around the world have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.