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A shot of hope: Naval Hospital Jacksonville administers COVID-19 vaccine

Lt. Cmdr. Alexandra Perry, a physician who works in the intensive care unit at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, reviews a COVID-19 vaccine information sheet prior to receiving the hospital’s first dose of the new vaccine on Dec. 16.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2020) — Lt. Cmdr. Alexandra Perry, a physician who works in the intensive care unit at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, reviews a COVID-19 vaccine information sheet prior to receiving the hospital’s first dose of the new vaccine on Dec. 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jamelle James receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2020) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jamelle James receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Dec. 18, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Grace Layugan receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2020) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Grace Layugan receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Dec. 18, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

Lt. Cmdr. Ian Porter, an aviation medicine physician, receives COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville on Dec. 18.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2020) — Lt. Cmdr. Ian Porter, an aviation medicine physician, receives COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville on Dec. 18. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

Amy Doughty, a licensed practical nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Immunizations Clinic, prepares COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to healthcare personnel on Dec. 16.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2020) — Amy Doughty, a licensed practical nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Immunizations Clinic, prepares COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to healthcare personnel on Dec. 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

Sailors carry a container with COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Sailors carry a container with COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Dec. 15, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

Staff at Naval Hospital Jacksonville prepare to unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination at on Dec. 15.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Staff at Naval Hospital Jacksonville prepare to unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination at on Dec. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2020) Staff Naval Hospital Jacksonville unpack the first delivery of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinination on Dec. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville is among the first wave of Department of Defense (DoD) hospitals to receive COVID-19 vaccines. NH Jacksonville received an initial supply on Dec. 15, and vaccinations started on Dec. 16.

During the initial phase, priority distribution is on-base healthcare workers, emergency services, and public safety personnel.

Early on, there will be a finite supply of vaccine. Distribution priorities within DoD will be consistent with data-driven guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for national prioritization.

The first few phases of vaccine distribution prioritization will focus on those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential installation functions, deploying forces, and those at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. In the final phase, all beneficiaries (service members, their families, military retirees) will be offered the vaccine.

“We’re honored to be one of the first military treatment facilities to receive COVID-19 vaccine,” said Capt. Teresa Allen, commander, Naval Hospital Jacksonville and commanding officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville. “Our priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic are to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the national pandemic response.”

All DoD personnel will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, and follow restriction of movement to protect our safety. A large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.

The vaccine is offered on a voluntary basis, while it’s under an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville deliver quality health care, in an integrated system of readiness and health. NH Jacksonville includes five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. It serves 163,000 active duty, active duty family members, and retired service members, including 72,000 patients enrolled with a primary care manager. NMRTC Jacksonville ensures warfighters' medical readiness to deploy and clinicians' readiness to save lives. NMRTC Jacksonville includes five units across Florida and Georgia. To find out more, visit https://jacksonville.tricare.mil.