As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged by the news that safe, effective vaccines will soon become widely available to enable us to end this national emergency.
The U.S. Operation Warp Speed is a national effort to develop and deliver safe vaccines across the U.S., with the goal of the first supply becoming available before the end of 2020. Today, multiple vaccine manufacturers have announced viable vaccines and are applying to the U.S. government for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The first of these vaccines may be available for distribution and administration to select populations as soon as mid-December 2020.
Since August 2020, the Coast Guard has been closely working with the Department of Defense (DoD) on vaccine distribution planning, and is also coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vaccine distribution effort.
Our goal is that every member of the Coast Guard (active, reserve, civilian, auxiliary), our family members, and retirees, will be able to receive a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine through one of several methods as part of Operational Warp Speed. Within the Coast Guard, we will be ready and prepared to distribute and directly administer the vaccine to Coast Guard military (active and reserve) and select civilian personnel in certain medical and critical support roles once it becomes available, based on the national prioritization framework and status of authorization for use. For those for whom we cannot directly administer the vaccine, we will communicate how and where you can receive a vaccine.
There are many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including whether it will be mandatory for military members. Currently there are no directives that would make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for Coast Guard members. In the event of a Presidential Executive Order mandating vaccines, or the forthcoming EUA includes service guidance for mandatory vaccine, updated policy will be provided.
We are currently focused on planning the logistics for distribution, prioritization of Coast Guard vaccination needs, and on training and equipping Coast Guard medical staff to administer the vaccine.
We will provide additional information on the vaccine distribution through regular updates and at the Coast Guard COVID-19 website as well as on MyCG. Up-to-date FAQ’s on the ongoing vaccine effort can be found here.