COVID-19 Vaccination is Voluntary for Military Personnel
The US Department of Defense (DOD) announced on February 5, 2021, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife Hollyanne said they are committed to protecting the military's 2.3 million men and women and 2.7 family members from COVID-19.
The DOD reported there have been about 145,000 coronavirus cases amongst Active Duty personnel and 21 fatalities related to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Gen. Milley noted that the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have declared the vaccines as "safe and highly effective" but he acknowledged that getting the vaccine is a personal decision.
"We both encourage you to consult your primary care physician to address any concerns ... so you can be well-equipped to make the right decision for you and your family. Protect yourself, protect your families and protect our communities. Together, we can all lead the way for the nation in the fight against COVID-19," Milley said.
The Defense Health Agency director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place added service members and their family members 18 and older have some options for where to get the vaccine. Military treatment facilities and community resources can provide it.
"We're directing people to their state, county, and local resources. We're working with our health care contractors to ensure communication flows from individual providers to their patients. And we're reaching out through military service organizations … to help steer families in the right direction," said Dr. Place.