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Pentagon confirms some senior leaders to receive coronavirus vaccine in earliest phase

December 9, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pentagon is expected to receive "just under 44,000 doses" of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine early next week, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery announced Wednesday, with the first doses going to medical personnel and a select number of senior leaders.

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon is expected to receive "just under 44,000 doses" of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine early next week, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery announced Wednesday, with the first doses going to medical personnel and a select number of senior leaders.

The prioritization plan for Defense Department personnel, CNN reported on Tuesday, will begin with medical personnel and then "critical national capabilities," including the nuclear deterrence force, homeland defense forces, select Special Operations Command and Cyber Command units, and "key national strategic leadership. "

The Pentagon also confirmed that a small number of senior leaders would be among the first to receive the vaccine, an action that is partly being taken in order to help convince military personnel that it is safe.

While the bulk of senior military leaders will receive the vaccine after medical personnel, a select few will receive it in the earliest phase.

"We do intend as part of this initial phase of healthcare workers, emergency responders, et cetera, have some very small set of very visible leaders that will volunteer to take the vaccine, do it in a public way as one way of helping to message the safety and efficacy and underscore that we are encouraging all those eligible personnel to take the vaccine," McCaffery said.

"Right now we would be looking at current senior leaders," he added, listing Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, Deputy Secretary David Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten, and the senior enlisted adviser to the Joint Staff as those who would receive the vaccine in the earliest phase.

Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that the intent was for the senior officials to take the vaccine publicly in order to help convince military and civilian defense department personnel that it is safe and effective.

After senior leaders and elite units are vaccinated, the next group to receive the vaccine will include personnel preparing to deploy within the next three months, including military, civilian and contractors who would normally receive Defense Department vaccines in pre-deployment.

by summa-bot

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