By Joel Diller
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY SOUDA BAY, Greece (Jan. 11, 2021) – Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, received an initial allocation of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on Jan. 9.
Initial doses of the vaccine were administered in accordance with the Department of Defense (DoD) phase-driven vaccine distribution plan to vaccinate U.S. military and civilian personnel in a prioritized order. The first group of personnel vaccinated included those providing direct medical care and maintaining essential security and installation functions.
“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is our best weapon at stopping COVID in its tracks,” said Navy Capt. Rafael C. Facundo, NSA Souda Bay’s Commanding Officer. “It will protect you, your shipmates, and your families. I will get vaccinated when it is my turn to receive the vaccine, and I encourage everyone on Team Souda to get the vaccine when it is offered.”
Facundo said after the initial distribution, and as more vaccine becomes available, additional personnel will have access to the vaccine.
Cmdr. Christopher Worley, senior medical officer, said, “The data we have tells us that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and it is effective. I got it because I know that it is my best defense against the coronavirus.”
Worley said because it will take time to get everyone vaccinated, it is important to continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, and wash hands frequently, even after receiving the vaccine.
Facundo said receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary at this time and reiterated that the NSA Souda Bay community is still required to follow host nation and DoD guidance regarding face coverings, social/physical distancing, and group gatherings.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing the coronavirus. Clinical trials have shown they are safe and effective, and the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of COVID-19 vaccines, which is why they were issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For more information about the DOD’s latest information about COVID-19 and the vaccine distribution plan, visit: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/
NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.