Hanscom preparing for DOD vaccination distribution Published Dec. 17, 2020 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – As the Department of Defense commences COVID-19 vaccination distribution and delivery, the 66th Medical Squadron here is planning to implement it on the local level. The Department’s plan will be phase-driven to implement a standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing, administering, any COVID-19 vaccine(s) through a phased approach to vaccinate all active and reserve component, TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select beneficiaries, and select DOD civilians and contract personnel authorized to receive immunizations from the DOD. Currently, the vaccine is offered under an Emergency Use Authorization, and vaccinations will be voluntary until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides full and final approval. MDS officials are encouraging all prioritized personnel to take the vaccine once it’s available. “While the vaccine is voluntary at this time, it’s important that prioritized members receive it to protect their health, their families, and continue to do their part in lowering the public health risks associated with this pandemic,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Gough, 66 MDS public health emergency officer. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention says the COVID-19 vaccine will be an important tool to end the pandemic. Additional information, including how the vaccine works and safety monitoring, can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html. Hanscom Public Health officials said that even with a vaccine in play, all personnel will still be required to wear appropriate face coverings and practice physical distancing until COVID-19 diminishes, in accordance with CDC recommendations. When available, additional information will be posted to www.hanscom.af.mil/Coronavirus.