Military medical treatment facilities across Europe continue to carry out their initial COVID-19 vaccination roll out in accordance with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) vaccine distribution plan. Prioritization of those receiving the vaccine at this time is dedicated to healthcare personnel, emergency services and public safety personnel.
Personnel are reminded that the vaccines being administered have been authorized for Emergency Use by the U.S. FDA because initial data indicate excellent efficacy and safety. While the vaccines have Emergency Use Authorization, they are voluntary. We know that the vaccines prevent illness from COVID-19, but are still learning.
Personnel should keep in mind that receiving the vaccine does not exempt individuals from the public health and force health protection measures that are currently in place, including proper social distancing, wearing of face masks, washing hands, and current travel restrictions.
"The vaccine is part of the overall pandemic response, which includes multiple measures that we anticipate will, over time, decrease impacts of the virus and enable everyone to return to normal routines," said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Elizabeth Erickson, Deputy Command Surgeon.
Erickson went on to say that the vaccine is not about any one individual and the vaccination benefits "all personnel, including family members, colleagues, friends, and host nation communities where we live and work." Erickson also added that the vaccine is not a substitute or a 'cure', so wide acceptance of the vaccine "is an essential element to protecting the population."
To stay informed of the latest information, please refer to the official resources provided below:
U.S. Department of Defense COVID 19: https://www.defense.gov/explore/spotlight/coronavirus/
U.S. Operation Warp Speed: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Operation-Warp-Speed/
Center for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Re-open EU: https://reopen.europa.eu/
About USEUCOM: U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.