Senior Defense Officials Brief Reporters

Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman; Thomas McCaffery, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, Defense Health Agency director, brief reporters at the Pentagon on the department’s phased, standardized and coordinated strategy for distributing and administrating COVID-19 vaccines, December 9, 2020.

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All right. Good morning, reporter. Friends. Thank you, everybody for for being here. And thank you for those who are on the phone this morning, Aziz, We promised toe about a two weeks ago that we would be giving you regular updates on our co vid response and train and vaccine distribution plans. That’s what we’re here to do today. With me this morning are Tom McCaffrey, the assistant secretary defense for health Affairs, and Lieutenant General Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency. Mr. McCaffrey, in General place will be providing key insights to our cove in 19 vaccination and prioritization plan in just a moment. As many of you know, the department fence has long been planning a phase, standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing and administering cove in 19 vaccines to protect our people, maintain readiness and support the National Cove in 19 response, we’re gonna cover five specific piece of information that are important to the force in the public the size of initial d o d. Allocation. The prioritization schema for the populations received the vaccine First, our priority plan phases for the distribution, the locations of the initial vaccine distributions in the general allocations and the timeline for initial distribution and next phases of the distribution and vaccinations. We have a lot of information share. We’ve provided you all with slides in advance, a swell as our press release, there should be useful documents to follow along with. I will note that a lot of work has gone into the planning and the of the distribution of this vaccine, which in itself is remarkable feed I asked. That is, each of you shares this information. Keep in mind that our goal is to be transparent with the force about what is happening and to encourage our personnel to use the vaccine. We’re fortunate that D. O. D has weathered the COVITZ storm better than most, and that is reflected in our allocation and how we’re prioritization prioritizing our initial doses. We look forward to being able to help the country get through the coming weeks and months is the vaccine is distributed and becomes more prevalent in our communities. So with that, I’ll turn the podium over Mr McCaffrey. Thank you, Jonathan and good Morning, everybody. And we appreciate the opportunity to highlight the department’s plan for the delivery of Kobe 19 vaccine. The department’s priorities, as you know, are protecting our service members are civilian employees and families, safeguarding our national security capabilities and supporting the whole of government response to the Cove in 19 Pandemic. As such as well outlined today, our plan will provide the cove in 19 vaccine to D o D. Uniformed service members, both active and selective reserve components, including members of the National Guard, Dependence retirees, civilian employees and select D o D contract personnel as authorized in accordance with D. O d. Policy On this topic, I’m extremely confident that apartments plan developed in collaboration with Operation Warp Speed, and the CDC provides a very clear roadmap to protect our entire D o D population across the globe against the pandemic. Early in the Cove in 19 vaccination program, there will be a finite supply of vaccine vaccination distribution Prioritization with D. O. D will be consistent with data driven CDC guidance for national prioritization. In the coming days, we expect the department to receive its first allotment of the vaccine. Initial phases of the D. O D distribution administration plan are based on the expected limited number of initial vaccine doses allocated by Health and Human Services in the C. D. C. Two d o. D. And on the departments need to rapidly validate our processes to support increased distribution as vaccine production increases. At this time, D. O. D. Is expected to receive just under 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as early as next week for immediate use diodes. Plan for distributing this vaccine includes monitoring processes to inform senior leader decisions about distribution capacity. Increased distribution administration locations and our force health protection are deliberate and phased approach to distribute and administer this first allotment in future allocations of the Cove in 19 vaccine will focus on vaccinating priority populations quickly and safely while simultaneously refining the intricate planning for the delivery of larger volumes, a vaccine and future waves. The department will prioritize D O D personnel to receive the vaccine based on the 500 guidance and on the department’s own cove IT task force assessment of unique mission requirements. The D. O D prioritization plan is consistent with 500 guidance and prioritizes health care providers in support personnel, residents and staff of D o D. Long term care facilities, other essential workers and high risk beneficiaries to receive the vaccine before other members of the healthy D o D population. As mentioned, the D. O D plan calls for a phased approach. The initial phases, what we’re calling a controlled pilot. In this phase, we will be distributing the vaccine to priority populations in 16 distinct locations. We will monitor the uptake and make adjustments to our plans going forward as necessary and his lessons learned from this controlled pilot. We will continue with this former distribution, adding additional prioritized personnel and additional prioritized locations until 60% of our d o d. Roughly 11 million personnel have received the vaccine, at which time D. O. D anticipates vaccine manufacturing rates to support full scale unrestricted vaccine distribution to department personnel. At that point, our intent is to distribute the vaccine in the same manner the department conducts its annual influence of vaccine program. If you look at some of the slides we provided the department selected initial vaccine distribution sites to best support several criteria. Number one, the anticipated unique supply chain requirements for the initially approved vaccines, a sizable local D O D population with priority personnel across all the military services in sufficient medical personnel to administer the vaccines and monitor recipients after initial and second dose administration. In his remarks, General Place will provide additional detail on those specific locations in a recent virtual tabletop exercise led by deputy secretary of Defense and senior civilian and military leaders, the D O D Covert Task Force and the leaders responsible for the first phase of the plan. Walk through the process is in great detail to ensure seamless distribution and dissemination of this initial wave of vaccine. Across are selected sites. The lessons learned from this exercise help solidify the department’s plan on the way forward in terms of next steps. As soon as the FDA issues and emergency use authorization, D. O. D s allocation will be pre positioned at our initial locations. Upon issuance of the A, the C. D. C. S Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet, review the EU A and then vote to recommend the vaccine and how it should be disseminated and who should receive it. We expect to have shots and arms of D O D personnel within 20 to 48 hours. From the time the A sip issues its final recommendation I want to personally thank the men and women across the department who have spent countless hours both day and night supporting the development of this plan. Their preparation for the vaccine of million of millions of of individuals across the department in the coming weeks and months will protect our force against Kobe, 19, and allow us to continue to full fulfill our mission to the nation. General Place and I look forward to answering your questions. Good morning. Thank you. Honorable McCaffrey. Our country and our forces should be assured that the Department of Defense is ready to execute a global covert vaccination plan for our service members, as well as military families, retirees and certain government, civilian and contract staff. Following approval by the Food and Drug Administration and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Defense Health Agency will lead a department wide phased effort to distribute and administer the vaccine while we await final approval from the FDA. The preliminary data on the safety and effectiveness of the two vaccine candidates is highly encouraging. We’re recommending that everyone take the vaccine when it becomes available to protect yourselves, your families, your shipmates your wingman, your battle buddies and your communities. As with most vaccines, some people may experience small adverse effects arm soreness, fatigue, even a fever. The department will be fully transparent about any adverse effects that are reported and share this information with the C D. C no inaudible, McCaffrey mentioned. As we begin our vaccination process, the department specifically chose 16 locations, 13 in the United States and three abroad. We selected these locations based on our desire to validate our plan. As such, we chose locations with extra cold storage capability, sizable local populations to vaccinate and medical staff large enough to administer it. We chose locations from each of the military services, including active and reserve components, along with the United States Coast Guard. Finally, we chose locations with an on site immunization health specialist. As Mr McCaffery noted, the good news is that our military medical teams have worked for months to prepare for this moment, and we’re eager to begin to deliver on Operation Warp speeds promise. The Department of Fence has decades of experience with conducting global vaccine programs, whether it’s the annual flu campaigns or protection against novel diseases around the world. We vaccinate million’s of our service members and families and retirees of every age every year. And we have systems in place to monitor the health of everyone who receives a vaccine in terms of next steps. Following FDA approval, the department received and begin vaccinations of our high priority populations this month. We’ve identified the military installations and the military treatment facilities that will receive the initial shipments of the approved vaccines. As Mr McCaffery noted, we have initiated our staff training protocols for vaccine administration and working closely with our Tricare network providers and pharmacies. Prepare for wider scale vaccinations. As the vaccine supply expands, this phased approach to vaccination will take time. We recommend that everyone continue to follow. The latest CDC guidelines to include physical distancing, hand washing and wearing face coverings were appropriate. This has been a challenging year for all Americans, and I’m inspired by the perseverance and commitment of the men and women of the department and the military health system. Together, we’re working as a team to protect all entrusted to our care. Thank you. All right. Thank you. We’ll go to the phones. I don’t know if if Lita jumped on from AP Lita Mfp. All right, so I go into the room. Barbara, my question is for the general. I wanted to ask on the medical side of this, sir, Um, could you explain as much as you can? About what part of this vaccination program will be voluntary? What part will be mandatory? Um, just as much detail as you Canada and especially for a high priority categories for deploying units for senior leaders. Can you walk us through some of that? Her? Yes, ma’am. We anticipate that this will be approved using emergency use authorization, not a fully licensed to FDA vaccination. And as such, the department’s policy will be voluntary for everyone. So there’s no if ands or buts about it doesn’t Doesn’t matter voluntary for everyone, E does it. I just don’t know how this all works. So it starts with emergency. You thought authorization. The vaccination is voluntary for everyone, including deploying units, including high priority units. Does it eventually in some way shift to mandatory once there’s full FDA licensure? And how will that on a practical level work? For example, first special operations forces, small units, strategic units deploying as on a team level If some people don’t get it, don’t Don’t take the vaccine. I don’t know if our mama Katherine wants to talk to the full license, your aspect and potential for future. The department is strongly encouraging everyone to take it. And the reason for that If you look at the data that are available to all of us now that fights or at least the one vendor has made available to everyone, if you look at the safety profile of it, the safety profile is very good. And the efficacy of the vaccine again short time period appears to be very good. So in a risk, stratification. My advice as a physician is that everything we do in life, every medication that we take, every surgical procedure that we have is all about risk. And the risk of this or these vaccines, from what we know, is much less than the risk of the actual disease process. So our advice to everyone volunteer basis our advice to everyone is to take the vaccine just based on risk, making it mandatory. So on that question, I think, is General place indicated this is this would be the normal process when vaccine is first issued under emergency use authorization. It’s typically on a voluntary basis, so we’re going to be consistent with that, um, as it moves as FDA looks at the experience of the vaccine riel experience, that we’re seeing the population and they ultimately assuming they ultimately grant full licensure. At that point, the department would look at that and based upon again risks and benefits, and look at unique requirements from the military departments from the combatant Commands would make a determination. If we believe for military readiness, we should consider making a fully licensed covert vaccine mandatory. But there’s a process that we use based upon data based upon the FDA A’s assessment. But I think the other question you raise was in this interim period where not all the force is going to be vaccinated in the next month or two. The department’s very clear in all of our policy everything that we have in place right now in terms of our standard mandatory force health protection guidance in terms of public health mitigation, social distancing, uh, you know, testing before deployments that will all continue even as we in the early stages of the vaccination effort we’re going to continue all those measures way have to because not the entire force, both active duty and civilian, are gonna be are going to be vaccinated. And then I think a Z general Place indicated part of our program in terms of communications is everything we can do to articulate, uh to our people. That way I have great confidence in the FDA is rigor and making the determinations about efficacy and safety. And we are going to be a part of our communication plan, you know, using select key senior leaders to get the vaccination to demonstrate confidence in that much like recently, Governor Hogan himself said, That’s what he’s going to do in terms of getting the vaccination out to the population of Maryland. He’s going to demonstrate, Yes, this is a safe and effective vaccine, and I’m encouraging everybody to take it right. Was your allocation based on the same per capita formula that the states were? And is that 44,000 gonna be 44,000 shots and arms? Or is it gonna be 22,000 and hold 22,000 for the second shot? And one more pleasure, Those locations up there. There’s a lot of, uh, geography between all those locations. Are people going to have to come to those locations to get their shot, or are you going to distribute to sub locations? Thanks for the question. So first, we have the same pro rata, uh, designation as all the other jurisdictions. So it’s a small percentage, just like the states are receiving the department received based on our population. A very, very small percentage. But it’s equivalent to the other jurisdictions. In terms of your second question, the almost 44,000 is the initial dose. So one of the things in the process is you have to demonstrate all parts you have to receive. You have to administer and you have tow. Um, uh, you have to document before you can order the second dose. So this almost 44,000 is first dose. We contact back with the the organization to get our second dose, and then for your third no travel involved. This is a A controlled pilot at these locations. This is the demonstrate that the process that we’ve developed actually works. Once we validated this controlled pilot, we have really scores of sites hundreds of sites across the country across the world that we have locations that vaccine will be we’ve sent to. So it’s not thes air. The only locations Everybody has to come to their or these the only locations. We take the vaccine from these locations to other outlying locations. This is just the first step and a controlled pilot. So, Dave, to your question on this is, if you look, there’s 16 locations are allocations only 44,000. So the way that the vaccine goes out is in batches of 975 doses. So we have to have locations that have, uh, sufficient population to use all of that dozing there. And so that’s why one of the criteria for the locations was, ah, large population or prioritized personnel. And so if you look at the listing, you’ll see some of our larger medical facilities some of our larger joint base areas that will be receiving that because they have those populations there. Uh, well, it’s just a prioritized personnel eso like in qualifying. Okay. Yeah. So okay, Alright. General Lucas Tomlinson. Fox News is the reason the vaccine is voluntary because there’s not enough to go around. Yeah. No, sir. It is voluntary because it’s under emergency use. Authorization because the FDA is likely to determine may be careful about that. The FDA is likely determine that not full licensure but under emergency use authorization. And like every every medication that we get in our facilities, emergency use authorization is different than full licensure. And we have to be able to communicate that to our patients when we talk about it, because it’s under the emergency use authorization. Therefore voluntary. Okay, Mr McCaffrey, you mentioned that some reservists, some guardsmen, some spouse is some civilian. Some contractors will be in part of this phased approach. How are you determining who who is supposed to get the vaccine in those cases way actually go back a couple slides? I think there’s the one that has the tearing One more. I think that might be helpful keyword with some. It wasn’t like every dependent, every contractor. So I’m wondering what the eso basically eligibility we’ve defined in terms of dependence, select contractor, civilian employees, and it’s going to be Then how do they match up in terms of the prioritization? Tears. We like the rest of the country. The very, very top priority initial phase is going to be health care workers on dso kind of first, uh, those inpatient workers most close to the patients, uh, early, uh, emergency responders, um, public security and then down in terms of outpatient so forth. But it’s going to be Are you eligible? And then where and that schema are you eligible? That’s how you’re going to get independence. Is that because they live with one of these people? And so they should be getting a vaccine as well. One of these high priority never. So for dependence. It will be, uh, in the phase with regard to whether you are high risk beneficiary or the regular healthy population. Okay, we’re gonna go back to the phones real quick. Um, Sylvie. So it’s Yeah. Uh, okay. I’ll just go. Um, What is your target date for vaccinating the entire force, Tom, so that the target date is going to be contingent upon again, we’re going to be getting an initial very limited quantity. We don’t yet know how much quantity we’re going to get Then, after that first week, um, as additional vaccines in addition to visor, come come out. So it’s really gonna be contingent upon how much vaccine, which types of vaccines we get over a period of time that we would be able to tell you based upon our schema. You know, we expect we could do, um, you know, x hundreds of thousands, you know, by the end of January versus February, so it Zhar to give you a timeline. Now, with so many question to be determined in terms of which vaccine and how much we get on when we get it for us, the important thing is we’ve developed a plan program for dissemination that as we validated in this these initial 16 sites, uh, that we’re confident we will be able to use our plan to very quickly as soon as we get those dosage quickly, get it out across the force according to the prioritization on. I just have two quick things of that, because the way it’s been explained is that we want to get to a place where we can treat this as we do with our normal flu vaccine distribution schema. So when we get to a certain percentage of the force being inoculated, then we will treat it and turn it. Roll it into kind of the general form where we do this every year Onda we get to that place we could get to the whole force and then just to remember, as I mentioned, the opening with regard Thio the entire forces is we’ve been relatively fortunate. Ah, large number of our forces are in age criteria health status where we have we have fared better than others. And so that’s something we take into account. But we’re we’re confident whether it takes, you know, a month, two months, three months, four months We’re gonna be able to continue to, uh, move forward with all of the d. O. D missions that we’ve been in touch and entrusted with the way we have over the last year in the face of Koven. Alright, guys. Sir, Actually Washington Examiner. Early on, there was a lot of talk about the phased approach. Um, with national security being a key criteria the nuclear triad, for example, don’t see that anywhere. Could you address where those important, uh, service members come into this or do they not come into this? They most most definitely come in. So if you look at in the tops of phase one A on Ben one be critical national capabilities. So that would include our nuclear deterrence force. Our Homeland Homeland Defense Forces uh, cyber com key national strategic leadership that is, in that in that tier, in terms of of very much kind of mirroring how we did our testing roll out, uh, in terms of the focus on those critical national capabilities forces that are about to deploy within three months, etcetera Matthew’s Earlier though there were no distribution out, for example, for any of the i C B M sites out west. So again, the initial 16, the initial 16 sites we’ve chose, uh, as the criteria is our way to pilot and validate the processes for the massive distribution over time the 44,000 that we expect to get, um, initially that will will be testing through those 16 sites. Um, those air won’t even cover the furry first, uh, section of phase one A, which is gonna be health care workers. And so they’re going to come first, like the rest of the national guidance and prioritization Onda Geun As quickly as we get vaccine, we will then be able to distribute it a za quickly as possible based upon those priorities. And and as we mentioned before, all of the the processes procedures that those forces the missile forces, the bomber crews, the sub crews have put in place over the last 9 10 months to protect them from from Cove, it will remain in place. So they have managed Thio to develop plans and processes that have allowed them to continue with their missions without without any denigration due to cove it. And so they’re gonna continue with that until we do reach a place where we have enough. We’ve received enough vaccine to get to that phase one B tier of individuals that are gonna be inoculated, including those critical national security or critical, uh, national capabilities. So all right, we’ll go back to the phone for a third time and try this Sylvie one last shot here. Bloomberg There. I have ah question this entire cop with McClatchy on the selection of Madigan in Washington State and Brags Medical Facility. Could you talk about how those two locations were selected? Was it because of deploying forces or because of the medical centers there yes, So it’s based on the capability have ultra cold storage there. So they’re one of 83 locations across the Department of Defense that have ultra cold storage. It’s because it’s high on the Army’s priority list. Each of the services sent them forward. It’s because they have way more than 1000 of the of the first hearing. And by that we mean the the military police, the security forces, the ambulance crews, the firefighters, the emergency, uh, department staff and the ice you staff. So even within the health care, we’re looking at very specific parts of the health care that are at highest risk. So it’s because of all those factors those locations were chosen and depending on what else you’re familiar with, if you look at all of those sites, they all have that capability. That’s why they were chosen for the controlled pilot. And I just wanna go through and read these out. Just so on the transcript. It has the list of locations, so the initial vaccine sites in the continental United States are Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas, Wilford Hall, Joint Base, San Antonio, Texas, Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base. Lewis McChord Washington Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Navy Branch Health Clinic, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida based Alameda Health Services Clinic, U. S. Coast Guard Base, Alameda, California Naval Medical Center, San Diego on the Naval Hospital. Camp Pendleton, which will get distribution from San Diego Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Pensacola, Florida and the Army Forces Retirement Home Gulf Port, which will be administered from Pensacola. Additionally, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda. On under that the Army forces, uh, retirement home in Washington War. CTO receive its allocation. Portsmouth Naval Medical Center UH, which will feed the Coast Guard Clinic. Bass Coast Guard Base Clinic at Portsmouth as well. The Indiana National Guard on Franklin, Indiana, and the New York National Guard Medical Command Water, Bleidt, New York, on then additionally, outside of United States Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. I’m sorry. Outside the Continental United States. Apologies. Hawaii. Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu. All good Army Community Hospital, Camp Humphreys, Korea Lunch Lunch All Regional Medical Center, Germany Cadena Medical Facility, Kadena Air Base, Japan. All right, Back to the phones. So we got Tara. Tony, did you have a question? I do. John? Where does the national what does the d o d leadership fall in terms of the phases, like Secretary Miller and, uh, Patel and, uh, gotta Do they fall in phase one, or would they be one B one than a critical national capabilities? So, um, the senior leaders overall, if you look across the department, um, on dadt would be a numerous number that would actually be in phase, uh, one B one, which is the critical national capabilities. And again, that mirrors how we did our covert testing. Uh, that said, we do intend, as part of this initial phase of health care workers emergency responders, etcetera have some very small set of very visible senior 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 encourage and underscore that were encouraging all those eligible personnel to take the vaccine. You I know a little transparency. You can you give us any names of who you are offering that to in terms of very senior leaders? And do you also intend them thio offer it to General Austin. So right now it would be we’d be looking at current, uh, current senior leaders. And the, uh the top four that we’re looking at right now would be definitely the secretary, the deputy secretary, the chairman, the vice chairman and the senior enlisted adviser to the joint staff. Uh, general lost. Uh, that is not something that has been brought up in, uh, that we’ve talked about again. Our focus is those top five and then other senior leaders across the services. But we’re looking at a number of well below 50 assed Part of this senior leader effort to get the word out for the back Barbara we’re looking at is the department leadership, but also the service leadership. And then the combatant commands in a way so that we could get that message out to his larger population is possible because each of those have their own lines of communication. Andi have many of them are set up, volunteered already andare looking thio coverage of getting their shops and the part of the intention of doing it is to do that. So as long as a Zilong is, uh, part of it is look way do not want this to be a It’s not done just for media purposes, but we will likely have some of them travel to some of the sites where vaccinations are taking place to learn more about, I’ll mention since we’ve already announced that the secretary of acting secretary Miller will be is in Hawaii today, he’ll be visiting Tripler Army Medical Center this afternoon. 1300 to receive a tour on a briefing from the M T F commander about the vaccination process out there. He will not be being vaccinated today, but he will be, uh, touring the facility this afternoon toe. Learn about the cold storage and the process that they have in place on. We’ll be doing that in other locations as well as as we go forward. Um, but we’ll get back to you on on on the visibility of how people are getting shots. So all right, let me just go keep on phones here for a couple minutes. So since it’s working, um, Miss Sullivan from Politico Hi. Thank you for doing this. Can you just go, um, into a little bit more detail about the critical national national security capabilities that you mentioned? The nuclear deterrent sports, etcetera. Can you, um can you just talk? Ah, little bit about how that’s when that is going thio be happening. And how that going to be rolled out in which, which units? They’re going to be prioritized. Yeah. And so the way we have identified it, uh, they are part of the initial phase. But we we even with the initial phase, we have sub tiered it because we recognize we’re gonna have a limited quantity. So you need to figure out who in that broad first phase are going to get it first. Onda. Right now, the priority in the first phase, as I mentioned, are gonna be healthcare workers. Uh, it’ll be first responders security. Um, it will be, uh, the next. The next part of that first phase is indeed our national critical. What? We describe our national critical capabilities. As I mentioned, some examples of that would be our strategic and nuclear forces. Our Homeland Defense Forces select senior leaders aan den. After that, it would be those deploying forces that are gonna be deployed within three months on. Then after that all other what we what? Each of the components will be defining as their critical essential staff carrying out critical, essential national capability activities. Okay. All right, well, keep going, Missy Ryan. Thanks very much. I just have a clarification and then a quick question. So I just build on the last question and forgive me if this has already been explained a number of times, it’s a little bit confusing. So the 44,000, what is it accurate that they will be distributed among some, uh, some small group or some group of the health care and the critical national capabilities? Because obviously the categories of people would be more than 44,000. So you’re taking some of the health care category people and some of the critical national capability people, Is that right? Of those 44,000, the huge majority of them will be for first responders critical health care people and a very, very, very, very limited number two critical national capabilities. In this first crunch as we get, assuming this all gets approved in the U. S. Etcetera and we get resupplied, then then we’ll get into mawr of the critical national capabilities. But in the initial 44,000, a huge majority is for first responders. Emergency Department staff, etcetera. Okay, um, Patricia military dot com. Yeah. Thanks for taking my question. Can you tell me the 44,000 vaccines? Um, you know what percent of the phase one A personnel, um, like total in the department will be vaccinated. And then also, when you talk about high risk beneficiaries, how are you going to prioritize them? What is what is the definition of high risk? And, uh and how will you be prioritizing them? Sure. Thanks for the question. The 44,000 against the entirety of the medical workforce. First responder workforce etcetera, is oh, somewhere in the eight or 9% of that total staff. That said, we also don’t know what percentage of that staff are actually gonna receive the vaccination, because it’s voluntary. So we have to plan for all and then and then readjust as some decide that they don’t want it or or hopefully for us all decided that they will. Um, I forgot to take part. The question you say it again, Patricia. Part of the question was, um was, uh, areas. How are you going to define that? Um, and have you defined it? in terms of, you know, health care or, um or pre, um, pre existing conditions, that kind of thing. Great things about our military health system and are ubiquitous electronic health record eyes that were able to monitor every single one of our beneficiaries for their medical problems. Now that’s all protected, so none of you can see that. But inside the system we can in our our programs allow us to see according to the risk factors according to the 500 of what other risk factors for disease or for severity of disease. With cove it, we know what those are, and we could bounce that against our database to see who has those particular challenges. And that’s how we get to the highest risk population. The very highest risk also comes from age, medical problems and Congress locations where people are congregated together. That’s why is Mr Hoffman mentioned, the very highest risk beneficiaries to us are in our armed forces retirement homes, where the average age is 85 they’re all in the same location altogether. So they’re the very, very, very, very highest risk of our non health care population, which is why they’ve been categorized in the very first truncheon vaccinations that we hope to receive. And then Patricia just wanting to add, just so you know, when we are defining for our population, the high risk we are, we’re basically taking the C. D. C. S definition that they’re using for all for the olive nation distribution. And so, for example, they cite very specific things like those that are over 65 those with cancer, those with COPD heart conditions. And so we’re doing that same using that same definition to apply to our population. Okay. Nick Schifrin, PBS Um, Jeff Shargel Task and purpose. Thank you very much. Are there any repercussions or consequences for troops who declined to get vaccinated? Will they be received administrative action or listed as not deployable? No, As we mentioned, this is this is standard practice for you. A, um it is voluntary. Um, it’s going to be voluntary for our forces and those who do not get vaccinated. They will be adhering to all of the existing public health mitigation measures that have been in place for months and that have allowed the department to carry on its mission and at some point if the FDA does determine toe license a zoo, a fully licensed the vaccination. Um, at that point, the voluntariness may change the mandatory as determined by the department, so that that is a possibility in the future. Um, all right, let’s go. Courtney. Hey, Um, I’m still unclear on when you exactly you think you’re going to get I know it’s hard to take. You don’t know when the emergency authorization is going to come through, but when exactly you think that you might start getting these 44,000? And is it fair to say that they’ll they’ll all be distributed equally among the 16 locations? So I’m not gonna even try to do the math on that. But but that’s how many it’s That’s how many. It will go equally to the pristine locations. Sorry. My kids. It’s OK. I understand. Um, I will let general place speak to that that last issue. Uh, but in terms of the question about the in terms of the initial 44,000 happen when it will happen. So I don’t I can’t give you a definitive I could give you This is our understanding, our expectation. So our expectation is tomorrow the FDA will meet. Maybe push. Yeah. I mean, it could be it could be tomorrow. It could be the next day, but so kind of rough estimate. The next couple of days, FDA meets, they review the data, they make their decision as to Are we going to approve this vaccine? And under what conditions we are anticipating, it will be under an emergency use authorization. So once that happens, the manufacturers are allowed at that point to actually distribute, uh, their vaccines to locations across the country again per the national prioritization per our prioritization. But the next step is once the the FDA issues that you A the C. D. C. S advisory Committee on immunization practices and this is standard for any vaccine. They review the e away and what’s in it? The data that was used to for the FDA to make that decision. And then they make a recommendation of they vote and say yes. We recommend the population use this vaccine under X conditions. Who should get it? And once that happens, and that could happen could over the weekend it could happen Monday. Again. It depends on when they meet and when they make their decision. But once that committee issues its final recommendation for our 16 sites, way are comfortable. We’re confident within 24 to 48 hours from that advisory committee decision, we will actually have shots and arms. But in terms of how that 44,000 is being allocated to one or the other of the 16, I’ll need to defer to general place. So again, it’s on a pro rata basis. So depending on how big or small these initial sites are, that’s how it’s being determined. The particular maker is distributing it in in lots of 975 doses. So if you’re wondering, why are we coming up with these weird numbers and why is it almost 44,000? It’s actually a little bit less than 44,000 because they come in batches of 975 so some of the locations will get 975 doses. The largest one will get. Take 25 away from 6 810,878 178 75 whatever that number is. So I’m not going to public Bath in front of you, but it’s an assortment of 975 doses pro rata, depending on how big these locations are. That’s how it was determined. And and it just Aziz, you look at the sites, you’ll notice some of the ones are larger. Some are smaller. Um, for example, I think the National Guard facilities air gonna be somewhat smaller in that uptake. Whereas Walter Reed, Um uh, the San Diego Medical facility, Fort Hood. Um, Tripler And those are some of our larger facilities medical facilities that have a larger presence of that population. So you’ll see a larger allocation. Go to those locations. Let me just finish up with a couple more on the phone and we’ll come back in the room key from Al Jazeera out. Courtney, did you just call them e Didn’t have an X next to your name there. So that z my fault. Um, did Sylvia ever get to ask a question? No. Mhm. All right, we tried. Lita, did you jump on? Looks like he has revised its quarantine rules. Is there any decision made about the quarantining of sailors and soldiers before they deport? Yeah, So the question is in reference to the recent was last week Were CDC revised their guidance about what to do If you’ve been in close contact with a positive case on duh their recommendation under certain circumstances, whether you test or not, they’re going. They’re revised. Guidance is going from a 14 day self quarantine or self isolation to 10 days if you don’t test, um, they are comfortable that if you test, um, 48 hours before seventh day after being notified that you’ve been in close contact, um, they are comfortable with you then, uh, getting removed, so to speak, from self isolation. So we’re taking that guidance, Um, as we’ve done throughout the last nine months, and we are now revising our own force health protection guidance accordingly, uh, to ensure that we match up where appropriate. Um, while we’re also though managing our mission capabilities and readiness. But we haven’t. We haven’t finalized our revisions. Redeployment like for warship cruise to guess Correct. Are you encouraging people who have already had kofta to get the vaccine? Yes, we are, because what what We know we know more about the virus than we did nine months ago, but it’s we’re still learning more. So our recommendation would be even if even if you have had been previously infected, you might have been infected eight months ago. We don’t know, right? There’s not enough science that says just because you were infected that you have immunity So we would be recommending even those folks to get to get vaccinated. We’ll do a quick around here and then one thing when you’re talking about mainly health care. But then you said a very, very small group, uh, sort of defined as a national capability. Is that a particular unit? Can you tell us what unit that is? No, What we were referring thio, I think, in the prior discussion was the notion of the secretary of the deputy secretary, the chairman, uh, likely with very other small e think in that first batch, you’ll see the retirement homes, the medical community and a very a handful couple dozens of senior leaders for leadership in messaging purposes. Okay, number that could be updated next week, couldn’t it when another vaccine comes up for approval so this number could be changed. And also are you coordinating with va on this? So the VA actually will be like us will be getting its own allocation. Um, you know, in proportion to, you know, all other entities that are getting it on DSO In terms of the vaccination program itself, there’s not really a lot that we need to coordinate with with them. They work directly with C. D. C. On the issue. What was the numbers? Yeah. So the 44,000 is just That’s what they’re saying. Our initial allocation is gonna be. We expect that shortly after that. Again. I don’t I can’t be definitive. Is it a week? Is it 10 days? We will get a subsequent allocation a little bit larger, and then we will get that out and then so on and so forth. And then you’ve got Madonna coming in a different vaccine, which will be going through the same process. You a, uh, a sip review and recommendations. And as those coming forward, we will get those out and and just, you know, to be clear on this is the This plan is intended to be scalable. So we have a whether you could describe as a control pilot with his 1st 16 locations with that initial batch so that we can. One of the things is the General Place mentioned is having an immunology health care specialist on location so that we can ensure that the process is working as we scale up. So make sure that we’re tracking the records. Make sure that we’re tracking any reactions, uh, seeing if there’s any improvements to the process as we expand it out. But the attention that the whole process of scale of one as we get more additional vaccines, weaken goto additional locations or do additional people that this initial this these first few locations with each you A for different vaccines. Like when you get Moderna, do you then have to start this pilot all over again? No, ma’am. The pilot is thio. Measure the process, That’s all. Thank you. Did you have for me? Okay. All right, well, I’m gonna close out here. I just got a couple things. First off, I appreciate everybody. It’s an important issue. We want to get the message out that this is taking place. Uh, workforce needs to understand this. The forces understand it. Andi way Wanna encourage people about the safety of the vaccine and encourage people on the uptake. So we will be continue with that messaging. Is this rolls out in the next few days? Um, two Quick. None. The covert related issues we have been providing updates on the transition on DSO. I just wanted to read you a couple new numbers from the transition that I have received just literally as I walked in here this morning. Um, so as of yesterday evening, we’ve completed 43 transition interviews. Were averaging about seven a day. Um, total officials in this 43 interviews is just under 100 on. We have 35 interviews scheduled over the rest the next three days. Um, request for information that have come in. We’ve already completed 45 of those, 13 of which are classified on. Got another 34 that are the lawyers air noodling with before we’ll be sending those out the door transition books. We’ve got 43 of the transition binders, so those air each of the team binders and policy binders are complete. Seven of the Intel Agency ones were complete. We’ve released 2200 documents, pages of documents in 250 pages of classified documents. This week’s interviews included. Um, the deputy secretary, second half chief of staff of the Air Force, Chief of the Chief of Space Operations Secretary Army, the Chief of staff of the Army. The CNO uh, the commandant, Chief, the National Guard Bureau. A number of the undersecretaries p and R I N s control. Or are any? Um it goes on and on from there. I think. Health affairs on If you’ve had yours interview yet, we’ve got a couple of the ones that are scheduled your scheduled tomorrow. I know. Minds. Think I’m scheduled to meet with him on Monday. Um Ah. Particular interest. Innaro site visit took place on Monday. Uh, met with 10 officials, including the director and deputy D. A site visit took place on Monday. 16 officials, including the director and deputy and as a site visit took place yesterday, 11 officials, including the debt director and deputy and the site visit took place yesterday. 10 officials, including the director and deputy. Um, so we’re gonna continue supporting, uh, the transition, uh, fully and professionally. And we will keep updating you as we go along, and you guys get emails from sue golf on a regular basis. with some of these updates since it, we’ll seek to include more information on then finally, uh, just take a couple minutes to express sincere condolences to both the family of General Chuck Yeager on American and Air Force hero Eyes a fighter ace, a test pilot who was the first to fly faster than the speed of sound. Andi hey was a legend in the Air Force And so we lost him this week, I think at the age of 98 and then, Ah, a little more closer to home here, uh, condolences to the family of Jim Lots who passed away this weekend. Jim was, ah, well regarded member of the secretary, air forces, public affairs, family, and was, by all accounts, an exemplary public service. And, ah, proud veteran and committed family member Um eso his family and friends of both individuals in our thoughts and prayers. Alright. Thank you guys.

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