COVID vaccination would be optional for Guam military personnel, until inoculation receives full FDA approval

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Moderna photo )

Joint Region Marianas officials say they’re still working through the details of what a military COVID-vaccination campaign would look like for Guam personnel.

JRM Public Affairs Officer, Lt. Commander Rick Moore, told PNC News that the Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan will, “implement a standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing, and administering COVID-19 vaccines to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the national COVID-19 response.”

He says it’s expected the vaccines will actually be on a voluntary basis for military personnel until the products receive full FDA approval.

“We expect that initially any vaccine candidate(s) will be offered under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or other mechanism under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority, such as an Investigational New Drug (IND) Expanded Access Protocol (EAP).”

It’s unclear how many vaccines would be coming for military personnel on the Island or when.

“Vaccine quantities are expected to be limited initially and distributed on a rolling delivery basis as more vaccines become available,” said Moore.

He says local military leaders on Island along with public health professionals are continuing to work through what an armed forces vaccination plan will look like.

A COVID-vaccine is on the horizon for the residents of Guam and the Department of Public Health and Social Services says it’s currently ironing out its inoculation plan for civilians.

Up to 7800 Pfizer vaccines could be making their way to Guam by the end of the month, in addition to some 50,000 Moderna doses when, and if, it’s approved for Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.

Since the vaccines are given in two doses, 7800 of the Pfizer will mean 3900 residents actually getting vaccinated and 50,000 of Moderna will be 25,000 people – still a far cry from the at least 70% of the population Public Health is trying to secure in order to ensure “herd immunity.”