The Coast Guard, as part of the joint force and working with the Department of Defense (DoD), is preparing to begin the vaccination process for our active duty and reserve forces, and select civilian employees in critical positions. Delivery and widespread administration of a safe, effective vaccine enables us to emerge from this pandemic national emergency and restore full Coast Guard readiness. For those who we are not directly vaccinating, including most civilian employees, Auxiliarists, dependent family members, and retirees, Coast Guard will provide information on how to receive the vaccine through other means.
We have been fully engaged in DoD planning efforts as part of the broader Operation Warp Speed national effort to be ready to begin vaccinations as soon as federal approval is given and first vaccines are received by our medical professionals.
We anticipate that the federal government will grant an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a vaccine in the very near future. Leading up to this, the Coast Guard COVID Vaccine Incident Command has been involved in planning, exercising, and training personnel for this critical operation to ensure we are ready. Coast Guard medical professionals are receiving specific training on handling and giving the vaccine, and are prepared for the administration process.
On Dec. 9, DoD leadership announced the first wave of 16 controlled pilot sites for vaccine delivery for the joint force, which includes Coast Guard Base Alameda and Coast Guard Base Portsmouth. During this announcement the DoD discussed how the Department is planning to distribute and administer the vaccine.
The Coast Guard is prepared to, upon receipt of the order, begin the first phase limited distribution, vaccinating the first group of Coast Guard health care workers and personnel who conduct search and rescue (SAR), front line law enforcement, and other first responders. Initially, there will be a finite supply of the COVID-19 vaccine during the limited distribution first phase. Distribution prioritization within the Coast Guard will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and parallel DoD guidance for national prioritization. If you are identified as being eligible to be vaccinated during the limited distribution first phase, your command will contact you. As we move to the following phase in the coming weeks, we will receive and distribute more vaccine across the Coast Guard.
Vaccines – including this COVID-19 vaccine – help fight disease. If you are chosen in the limited distribution phase to be vaccinated, we highly encourage you to be vaccinated to protect your health, your shipmates, your family, your community, and to lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Any members that are concerned about the safety of the vaccine should discuss the possible side effects with their medical provider and reference the online resources located at USCG.mil/coronavirus.
People are the cornerstone of Coast Guard readiness so we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure rapid availability of vaccine to our work force.