US Army Japan to begin vaccinating remainder of its healthy population against coronavirus
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TOKYO — The U.S. Army in Japan announced plans late Friday to begin inoculating the remainder of its healthy population, including service members, civilian employees and dependents, against the coronavirus starting Tuesday.
The Army is the first service branch in Japan to announce it is making the Moderna vaccine widely available to phase three beneficiaries, the last phase of a Defense Department plan to vaccinate its people.
The Army medical detachment at Camp Zama, the headquarters of U.S. Army Japan 27 miles southwest of central Tokyo, will start Tuesday with high-risk individuals, meaning anyone age 65 or older or with serious underlying health conditions, according to the announcement on Facebook.
Vaccines will be administered at specific time slots Tuesday through Saturday at the Firelite Lounge at Camp Zama, the announcement said. It did not specify when other Army installations would receive their allotments.
Time slots on Friday and Saturday are scheduled for “general population walk-in,” according to the post. Service members and their dependents, DOD beneficiaries, retirees, DOD civilian employees and select contractors will be eligible for the first of two shots needed for full effect against the coronavirus.
“Please get with your unit chain of command for specific timeslots,” the announcement states. “Beneficiaries must present valid ID cards. Non-beneficiaries must provide valid documentation of high-risk conditions.”
U.S. Army Japan commander Maj. Gen. Viet X. Luong moved to get his population “vaccinated as quickly as possible,” the Army stated.
The command also moved to dispel rumors about vaccine safety.
“The flu shot I got a couple months ago, I felt it more than I did this shot,” U.S. Army Japan Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Dodson Jr., said in the announcement.