WASHINGTON – Biden administration officials said they would deploy 1,000 active duty soldiers to assist in the Kovid-19 vaccination later this month and use the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of vaccines, tests and protective equipment.
Kovid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zisters said military personnel would begin arriving in California within the next 10 days and assist at the state’s vaccination sites. A US Army official said the Pentagon is still weighing FEMA’s broad request for 10,000 troops.
The decision was made by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, which would include units from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and include nurses and medical staff who would conduct the vaccination.
“The military’s critical role in supporting sites will help to immunize thousands of people per day, and ensure that every American who wants a vaccine will receive one,” Jitus said.
The Department of Defense’s increased involvement is an inversion of the Trump administration’s strategy, which left it primarily to states to figure out how to get shots in the arms of their residents.
Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced it would begin opening two federally operated and funded vaccination sites in California.
The Biden administration also announced that the Pfizer production equipment would be used to use the Defense Production Act and supplied to increase the production of its vaccine, with millions of home-based Kovid tests available by the end of summer, And 1 billion surgical gloves will be produced in a month. In the US by the end of the year.