WASHINGTON - The Navy issued COVID-19 Vaccine guidance to combat the coronavirus pandemic with NAVADMIN 327/20, Dec. 16.

This guidance amplifies Department of Defense (DOD) guidance for COVID-19 vaccination to service members, civilians and dependents within the Navy.

The COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be a phased, standardized, and coordinated plan for administering COVID-19 vaccines to protect our people, maintain readiness, and help return to normalcy. All Navy personnel are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vaccine is voluntary while under Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval.

“The nation and the Department of Defense are beginning to administer vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” said Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday. “These vaccines, which are currently voluntary, are a proven effective measure to better protect you, our Navy and our Nation from this insidious threat.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is a pandemic vaccine and the distribution and administration follows protocols established by prior influenza vaccination seasons. Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) will coordinate the administration of the vaccine with all supported Navy units to ensure operational readiness is maintained and the vaccine is administered when available.

Navy Component Commanders (NCC) will determine vaccination plans for operational units. Initial intent is to vaccinate units deploying within the next three to six months, subject to vaccine availability.

All COVID-19 mitigations measures such as facemasks, social distancing, and restriction of movement (ROM) sequester will remain in place until a sufficient percentage of the Navy population is immunized and the rate of infection reduced to no longer pose an operational risk to the force.

Side effects of the vaccine are expected to be mild, but may be similar to symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection. If you have received a partial or full sequence of the vaccine and develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 outside of expected side effects you should be tested for COVID-19 and follow current return to work guidance.

Check the Navy's COVID-19 Updates page frequently for the latest policies, leadership messages and guidance.