YOKOSUKA, Japan - The crew of the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) took the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot Jan. 11, during a scheduled port visit at United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
“A crew that is fully immunized and boosted against COVID-19 significantly lowers the risk of infection underway, which allows the crew to execute all vital tasking and maximizes operational readiness,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Allyn Brown, chief enlisted medic at Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG-7).
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Nash Bovard, Missouri’s independent duty corpsman (IDC), worked with CSG-7’s medical team ahead of the port visit on the procurement and delivery of the vaccine boosters and necessary medical supplies for the evolution. This planning and coordination helped ensure Missouri’s shot exercise went as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
“We pulled in and the next day they came down with all the supplies and equipment for the booster shot-ex,” said Bovard. “We were able to get it done in a couple of hours for the entire crew, which is amazing.”
According to Bovard, more than ninety percent of Missouri’s crew has now received the vaccine booster. The remaining crewmembers were unable to receive the booster due to the timing of their initial vaccinations. Virginia-class fast attack submarines have a crew of approximately 130 officers and enlisted.
“While booster vaccines are not yet mandatory, it is in the best interest of deploying crews to get boosted prior to underway,” said Brown. “This allows for maximum flexibility and protection against the virus.”
NAVADMIN 289/21, released in December, outlines who is able to receive a booster, and when. The COVID-19 vaccine booster is strongly recommended for “Navy personnel who completed the primary Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series (i.e., received the second dose of the vaccine) more than 6 months ago, or who received a primary dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine more than 2 months ago.”
CSG-7 directs forward-deployed, combat capable forces across the full spectrum of undersea warfare throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
Missouri is homeported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and routinely operates in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, conducting maritime security operations and supporting national security interests.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of a network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime-nations, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.
To schedule a vaccine booster shot, the government website https://www.vaccines.gov/ lists locations as well as available appointments for COVID-19 booster shots throughout the country.
More information about COVID-19 vaccinations and the vaccine booster can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html and in NAVADMIN 289/21: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55/Messages/NAVADMIN/NAV2021/NAV21289.txt?ver=GhC7tbmpGgfdRpatWs02qw%3d%3d.