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Vaccine plan for JBLM

Vaccines arrives at JBLM - military not ordered to take vaccine - 100% voluntary

Perry Porter accepts the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine from FedEx driver Jeremy Cloud Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at Madigan Army Medical Center. Photo by John Wayne Liston, Madigan Army Medical Center.

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The first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Tuesday morning, according to Lt. Gen. Randy George, base and I Corps commander.

Because the vaccine was authorized for emergency use, he said it is "completely voluntary for everyone ... including military members."

If you decline the shot, Madigan officials said it will not affect a person's "priority."

Those who receive a vaccine will be provided a card of proof, plus it will be added to the servicemember's official record. An app is soon to be released for proof, plus to serve as reminder to get the second dose on time.

First responders and hospital workers most vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19 based on their job will be first to receive the vaccine starting Dec. 15. These include EMT, police, and ICU staff, then the list will expand to other hospital workers. Not all will be covered in the first shipment. Next in line will be critical national and support personnel and those preparing to deploy. After that those with health issues at high risk to COVID will be vaccinated, and finally the healthy population. COVID-19 is free, and the base supply will eventually cover all military, DoD employees and military medical beneficiaries based on the tier system.

Units will inform troops and employees when they may receive the vaccine.

The American Lake Event Center will be the location for the vaccine distribution, George said.

Madigan officials expect that dependents will receive their vaccinations from military healthcare professionals, which will be communicated through the military health system.

George said the timing of when each population gets vaccinated will be in accordance with government plans. George said for the healthy population it might be "several months" before they are vaccinated.

As for current safety protocols, George said the base will continue to follow state guidelines except for a few exceptions, including active duty still have access to base gyms. He expects the state to extend the current order to Jan. 15.

Officials said there should be a spacing of 14 days between a COVID vaccine and a flu shot.

Mitigation rules still apply to those who receive a vaccine.

Madigan officials said the vaccine is safe for pregnant women.

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