WASHINGTON (KYMA, KECY)-U.S. service members would be the first ones to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 if one is proven to be safe and effective.
Military.com says the Trump administration's effort to develop, make and distribute a working vaccine against the deadly coronavirus by early next year, officials said those likely to receive it first include the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, workers in essential businesses and the U.S. military.
"Our role, as the federal government, is to ensure anyone who is vulnerable, cannot afford it and desire it can get it, those critical to infrastructure get it, essential workers get it, and those associated with national defense get it. That's our obligation," the official said
The goal is to have the vaccine ready by January 2021. But urgency and speed will not eclipse safety in the effort, the officials said.
Reports say so far, 14 out of 100 candidates were selected, but will be narrowed to a field of seven.
As of Monday, 12,152 service members, dependents and civilian DoD employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 36 have died. The U.S. Navy has been hardest hit among the services, with 2,756 cases; followed by the Army, with 2,245 cases; the Marine Corps, with 729; and the Air Force, with 700.
The National Guard Bureau, which saw thousands of its members called up to respond to the national emergency declared over the pandemic, has had 1,532 cases, according to Military.com.