New military healthcare market ready for mandatory COVID vaccine
Photo by Steve Walsh
The San Diego Military Health System is ready to vaccinate all troops against COVID, as soon as it becomes mandatory.
Naval Hospitals at Balboa and Camp Pendleton have administered approximately 250,000 doses of the COVID vaccine since it became available. That’s actually a fraction of the vaccines already distributed by the two hospitals each year, said Rear Admiral Tim Weber, commander of Naval Medical Forces Pacific, at an event to announce a new partnership for facilities serving the active duty troops and their families in San Diego.
“They give 500 (million) to 600 million vaccines every year. So we know how to get vaccines, ”Weber said. “And we know how to do large-scale vaccines because we do it every year. “
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has asked the president to require the vaccine for active-duty troops as of September 15. About 70% of active-duty troops in San Diego have been vaccinated, which is consistent with the rest of the workforce. -military duty, greater than 50% for the California National Guard. Still, there was resistance, said Captain Kim Davis, director of Naval Medical Center in San Diego.
“We educated people where we can. We know that any vaccine can have potential side effects, ”she said. “However, we know that the long-term consequences of COVID-19 infections can be serious. “
Until that becomes mandatory, the Pentagon relies on encouraging troops to seek out good information, Defense Health Agency director Lt. Gen. Ronald Place said.
“The knowledge we have,” Place said. “The data we’re looking at is truly overwhelmingly positive. These vaccines are some of the most effective vaccines we’ve ever seen, with one of the safest safety profiles we’ve ever seen.”
Place was in San Diego on Tuesday to unveil a new combined medical market for troops, retirees and their families. As part of a nationwide consolidation of military medicine, plans were put on hold for a year as they battled the pandemic.
The new system is supposed to allow local military patients to move between military hospitals and their clinics, as well as VA and private doctors to form a more cohesive system.
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