(*Note: This message was issued on Jan. 29, 2021, and may not reflect the most current situation for DLA employees. Please refer to the DLA Coronavirus Guidance page for current information on operating status of DLA workplaces, and guidance and protocols for DLA employees who are in the workplace, teleworking, or on weather and safety leave.)
DLA Team Members,
Officials in the Department of Defense (DoD) and Defense Health Agency (DHA) are working to determine how best to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Department personnel who voluntarily agree to receive them. As you are no doubt aware from news reports, the nation continues to work through distributing the vaccine to our citizens, to include the DoD population. We are taking steps to make sure the DLA workforce is ready when our turn comes. To borrow from the Hamilton musical, we are not throwing away our shot!
DLA is following guidelines set in the DoD Vaccination Implementation Plan, and we anticipate all DoD personnel will be offered the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, it may take several months for vaccinations to become available for all who are willing to receive them. Under this plan, DoD is giving initial priority to healthcare workers, first responders, deploying forces, and certain other employees responsible for maintaining essential national security functions. Other categories of employees will fall into later phases.
To help effectively plan to meet these needs, DLA has been tasked by DoD to prepare location-specific lists of personnel who volunteer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if it’s made available by the Department. To this end, many of you have been or will be asked by your supervisors or officials at your work location if you are willing to volunteer to be vaccinated. If you haven’t been asked, I anticipate you receiving this question in coming days.
I’d like to take this opportunity to answer some questions you may have about why we are requesting this information, what we’re doing with it, and what you should expect as the federal government makes more vaccine stocks available to DoD organizations.
- What information can my supervisor/senior official at my location ask for in conjunction with COVID-19 vaccines? Keeping in mind that all authorized COVID-19 vaccines are approved under an Emergency Use Authorization and are completely voluntary, your supervisor can ask if you have already received the vaccine and if you are willing to voluntarily receive a COVID-19 vaccination from DoD.
- What information am I required to provide? You are not required to answer these questions if you do not want to be placed on a list to voluntarily receive vaccination.
- Why is DLA collecting this information? We are meeting a DoD requirement to identify employees who are willing to receive the vaccine to facilitate planning for required doses and support efforts to prevent wasted vaccine supplies.
- What if I change my mind about my answer? If you initially elect to receive the vaccine and later change your mind or vice versa, please alert your supervisor. Allowing your name to be added to the list for your location does not obligate you to take a vaccination. Likewise, if you add your name to the DLA list at your work location and you subsequently receive a vaccination from another source, such as your personal healthcare provider or community public health department, please let your supervisor know so you can be removed from the DLA list.
- What if my “turn” to get a vaccination comes up and I am unavailable? You would stay on the list and be notified when the next opportunity becomes available.
- What if an opportunity to receive a vaccination from my healthcare provider/city/county/state becomes available to me before DLA offers me a shot? We encourage employees who voluntarily agree to receive COVID-19 vaccination to accept the shots from whatever source becomes available to them first.
We will be adding some of these and other questions and answers to the DLA Coronavirus Information page and updating them as the situation evolves and more information becomes available. I also encourage you to familiarize yourself with information on vaccine safety and efficacy provided by the Military Health System and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a reminder, wearing a face covering is mandatory in federal facilities, even after being vaccinated against COVID-19. It is imperative to continue mitigation measures, such as wearing face coverings, maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet from others when possible, and regularly washing hands or using hand sanitizer. These measures are still necessary to help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
As we approach the one-year mark since the beginning of the pandemic, I know I speak for VADM Skubic and all your senior leaders in saying how proud we are of all this workforce has overcome and accomplished in the past year. I know we’ll keep doing all we can to meet the needs of our warfighters and our nation.
Thank you, and Warfighter Always.
Director, DLA Human Resources
Defense Logistics Agency