FEMA Asked DOD for Help on Vaccines. The DOD Delivered

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has OK'd the deployment of 1K troops to vaccination sites
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2021 1:31 PM CST
Pentagon to Send 1K Troops to Help at Vaccine Sites
President Biden speaks with House Democratic leaders in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Pentagon will deploy troops to assist getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said Friday. Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, per the AP. It means about 1,000 active-duty military personnel will deploy to help state vaccination centers. President Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month. Two are opening in California, and Slavitt said military personnel will arrive at those centers in a little over a week.

Slavitt said support from the military will play a critical role in supporting vaccination sites, helping administer thousands of shots a day. Currently about 6.9 million Americans have received the full two-dose regimen required to get maximum protection from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. That translates to about 2% of the US population. To reach widespread or "herd" immunity, about 70% to 85% of Americans must be vaccinated. The US is in a race with the virus, which is also spawning mutations that may prove resistant to vaccines.

(More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.