MANAMA, Bahrain –
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (NMRTU) Bahrain began administering the Moderna coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on board Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Jan. 4.
In accordance with Department of Defense guidance, the vaccine is being administered in phases to ensure personnel at risk of being exposed daily are prioritized to receive it first, including healthcare, emergency services, public safety, and command staff personnel.
“Our team, along with [Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Bahrain], has put in a lot of effort up to this point coordinating the logistics of shipping, receiving, storing and administering the vaccines safely and efficiently,” said Lt. j.g. Kwan Jin, NMRTU’s public health emergency officer. “The unique set of challenges in our preparation made it even more rewarding to bring the first COVID-19 vaccines to our NSA Bahrain community, and immediately begin inoculations.”
Prioritized DOD personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine in order to protect their health, families and community, and to mitigate public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been adapting every aspect of our mission and our lives to mitigate the risks for quite some time now,” said Capt. Greg Smith, NSA Bahrain commanding officer. “It feels great seeing our at-risk personnel receive a vaccine which we hope will increase safety of our personnel and help us fight this pandemic.”
The two-dose vaccine was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization and is currently offered to DOD personnel on a voluntary basis.
The first shipment of the vaccination arrived in Bahrain on Dec. 30, and after clearing customs, was ground delivered to NSA Bahrain and placed in cold-storage until used for inoculations.
NSA Bahrain will continue to enforce strict COVID-19 mitigation measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Although the vaccinations have begun, I would like to remind the public that the fight is not over and to urge everyone to continue following the COVID-19 mitigations we have in place," said Jin.