The Department of Defense is conducting a coordinated vaccine distribution strategy for prioritizing, and administering COVID-19 vaccines that will strengthen our ability to protect our people, maintain readiness, support the national COVID-19 response, and trust in safe and effective vaccines and vaccination plan.
The allocation and distribution of the vaccine is based on prioritization and includes those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential national security and installation functions, and beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.
*Note: FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 18 years of age and older.
Here is a graphic that shows the current status of vaccine distribution at Aviano. If you are in one of the “Green” or “Yellow” sections and have not yet been offered an opportunity to receive your vaccine, please contact your unit’s COVID Vaccine POC (Likely the UDM or UHM). We have vaccinated our 75+ population but if you have access to the base and have not received the vaccine and would like to, please contact the immunizations clinic. We are diligently working to complete Phase 1B as quickly as possible.
COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible to face an unprecedented need, and we understand there may be some concern. To combat misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, this list highlights some common myths associated with receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory.
Fact: The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed on a voluntary basis, which is consistent with the normal process when a vaccine is first issued under Emergency Use Authorization. When formally licensed by the FDA, the DoD may require a vaccine for military personnel or personnel in specific fields, as is the case for the influenza vaccine, but that has not been determined at this time.
Source: DOD COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan transcript
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can give you COVID-19.
Fact: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is too new or too rushed to be safe.
Fact: There are processes and procedures put into place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized for use. Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase three clinical trials and authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed in record time, the development process was in-depth. See Operation Warp Speed for more information.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Myth: You do not have to wear a mask after you receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Fact: The CDC recommends that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. It will still be necessary to wear cloth face coverings, maintain physical distancing and continue other hygiene measures until a large proportion of the population is vaccinated and the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection. For more information, visit considerations for wearing masks.
Myth: I do not need to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have already had COIVD-19.
Fact: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have had the COVID-19 disease before. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person.
Myth: I can begin traveling once I receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: You cannot immediately start traveling upon receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Host nation and installation guidance will still apply. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Myth: Vaccines approved through the Emergency Use Authorization are not safe.
Fact: Drugs and vaccines have to be approved by the FDA to ensure that only safe and effective products are available to the American public. During public health emergencies, when there is good scientific reason to believe that a product is safe and is likely to treat or prevent disease, the FDA may authorize its use through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), even if definitive proof of the effectiveness of the drug or vaccine is not known. FDA pre-licensure approval is considered for treatment or prevention of diseases that are very serious, like COVID-19.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccine will alter your DNA.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
Myth: The potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are too risky.
Fact: Most people will not have serious side effects after being vaccinated. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease. See more here: What to Expect after a COVID-19 Vaccination
Myth: I don’t need the flu shot if I receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Fact: The CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading at the same time. That means that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. A flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it can prevent you from getting influenza (flu) at the same time as COVID-19. This can keep you from having a more severe illness.
During the vaccination process, Wyverns must continue to observe DoD, CDC, and Italian guidelines to mitigate spread in our community.
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