U.S. Army Capt. Skyler Brown (left), Family Medicine Physician assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, is the first service member in all of U.S. Army Europe and Africa to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at U.S. Army Health Clinic Grafenwoehr, Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Pfc. Luca Weber (right) administered the COVID-19 vaccine to Brown at 8:43 a.m.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Capt. Skyler Brown (left), Family Medicine Physician assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, is the first service member in all of U.S. Army Europe and Africa to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at U.S. Army Health Clinic Grafenwoehr, Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Pfc. Luca Weber (right) administered the COVID-19 vaccine to Brown at 8:43 a.m. (Photo Credit: Spc. Austin Riel) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Capt. Joey Nguyen (left), a nurse assigned to 2nd Cavalry Regiment, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from U.S. Army Capt. Breslin Gillis (right) at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Nguyen is the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Vilseck military community.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Capt. Joey Nguyen (left), a nurse assigned to 2nd Cavalry Regiment, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from U.S. Army Capt. Breslin Gillis (right) at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Nguyen is the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Vilseck military community. (Photo Credit: Maj. John Ambelang) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamaal Cromer, an Army medic assigned to U.S. Army Health Clinic Ansbach, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Nurse Claudia Aikens at USAHC Ansbach Clinic, Ansbach, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Cromer is the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Ansbach military community.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamaal Cromer, an Army medic assigned to U.S. Army Health Clinic Ansbach, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Nurse Claudia Aikens at USAHC Ansbach Clinic, Ansbach, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Cromer is the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Ansbach military community. (Photo Credit: Dani Johnson) VIEW ORIGINAL

BAVARIA, Germany -- U.S. Army Health Clinics in Ansbach, Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted their first inoculations of healthcare workers with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 28, 2020.

The arrival of the Moderna vaccine paves the way for a phased vaccine distribution plan to protect our military communities overseas against COVID-19.

Initial vaccinations will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process and will be used to plan expanded distribution, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department-wide phased vaccination approach.

“As we start to vaccinate in the initial phases, we are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense guidance on priority for individuals,” said Col. E. Lee Bryan, commander of U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria. “As this expands to include larger numbers of people over the next several months, we will then start to see the effects. But it won’t be overnight.”

Each phase of the vaccine distribution process is designed to safely protect Department of Defense personnel from COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

“As we work through vaccinating all of our healthcare personnel and first responders, we will also begin to look at our highly-deployable forces here in Europe, and our high-risk populations,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Thompson, Regional Health Command Europe commanding general. “After that, we’ll be able to focus on our healthy service members, civilians, families, retirees not part of the high-risk population, etc.”

As distribution is carried out, information of those timelines will be provided through command channels and through installation webpages and social media platforms.

Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use approval, the vaccine is voluntary but recommended by the military.

“The FDA only authorizes the use of a COVID-19 vaccine after careful and rigorous testing and trials,” said Thompson. “We are excited to be playing a role in providing a very safe and effective vaccine to our military community. This vaccine is a vital part of our way forward to protect our people, their families and the communities where we live and work.”

All DOD personnel will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, follow restriction of movement and adhere to host nation restrictions for the safety of their communities, as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.

“For anyone who is debating whether they should be vaccinated when it is offered, I would say please take a look at all the information available and make a personal decision based on facts and the science,” Bryan noted.

Related Links:

Army.mil: Europe News

U.S. Army COVID-19 Guidance