By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (June 08, 2021) -- Back in February, the Defense Department partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up community vaccination centers to administer COVID-19 vaccines to Americans who wanted them.
Since that time, 16 million vaccinations have been administered. At the peak of the effort, there were 35 locations across the U.S. where teams of service men and women -- as many as 222 -- worked to provide vaccinations.
Now, after much success, that effort has drawn almost completely to a close.
"As of today, we are supporting eight vaccination sites and expect to reduce that to five by the end of today," Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said. "We are proud of the support, of course, that our service members -- both active duty and National Guard -- have provided to combat this pandemic."
By Wednesday morning, he said, only five sites will remain open. Those sites are in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Minnesota and Kentucky.
The Defense Department's fight against COVID-19 isn't limited to the U.S. Currently, DOD is also working to provide COVID-19 support to nations in South Asia, Kirby said.
"If you didn't see it over the weekend, Travis Air Force Base remains extremely busy supporting government efforts to provide emergency assistance to countries in South Asia," he said.
Travis Air Force Base in California is helping the U.S. Agency for International Development airlift much-needed medical supplies to help Bangladesh battle its latest COVID-19 surge, Kirby said.
"An Air Force C-17 flight departed late Friday from Travis for Dhaka, Bangladesh, carrying over 2 million pieces of personal protective equipment to protect thousands of health care workers in Bangladesh," Kirby said.
The U.S. military has also helped USAID provide assistance to other nations, including India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The partnership between USAID and the DOD, he said, demonstrates the United States government's global response to ensure that life-saving assistance and supplies reach those who need it most.