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DOD to Support FEMA Vaccination Effort

Feb. 12, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

The Defense Department's first 222-person team arrived in California and will begin to support a mass vaccination site in Los Angeles by Feb. 15, said the Pentagon press secretary. 

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The team will support the Federal Emergency Management Agency's vaccination efforts, John F. Kirby said at a press briefing today.

Additionally, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III authorized an additional 20 teams to support FEMA at vaccination sites around the country, Kirby said. This will be 10 222-person teams and 10 139-person teams. The smaller teams will be assigned to sites with fewer people who need to be vaccinated.

A man gets an injection in his arm.
COVID-19 Vaccine
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Scott Brown, a network chief for 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 11, 2021.
Photo By: Marine Corps Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres
VIRIN: 210211-M-UG177-0005

These 20 teams are on "prepare to deploy" orders and will deploy as sites are designated by FEMA, and the teams properly trained and resourced, he said.

This will bring the Defense Department total to more than 4,700 Title 10 personnel supporting, or preparing to support FEMA, he said. These Title 10 personnel are in addition to the more than 26,000 National Guard members and 3,000 active duty personnel who have been supporting COVID-19 efforts over the last year.

Lady sticks a needle into a plastic sleeve.
Vaccine Preparation
Army Spc. Alexis Ruth, a health care specialist assigned to the Maryland Army National Guard Medical Detachment, prepares to administer a vaccine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 30, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Enjoli Saunders, Maryland Air National Guard
VIRIN: 210130-Z-GZ846-138C

"We will continue to work with FEMA as they refine their plan for vaccination sites across the country," Kirby said.

Details are still being worked across the interagency, he added.