Advertisement

Eisenhower carrier strike group sailors line up for vaccines

Eisenhower carrier strike group sailors line up for vaccines
COVID-19 vaccinations arrived aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower last week, for distribution to sailors of the aircraft carrier's strike group this week. Photo by MCS Joshua Tolbert/U.S. Navy 

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Personnel aboard the carrier strike group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations over the weekend, the Navy announced.

The first round of the Moderna vaccine, which requires two doses, delivered a month apart, was scheduled for rollout on Monday for about 6,000 crew, officers and air squadron personnel.

Advertisement

The vaccinations, while the ships are in port at Norfolk, Va., come days before the strike group begins deployment, the Navy said in a press release.

The carrier group's most recent deployment, in 2020, lasted seven months, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, included strict social-distancing protocols but did not include port calls.

RELATED Eisenhower carrier leaves for training exercise ahead of deployment

The strike group includes the Eisenhower aircraft carrier, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey and USS Vella Gulf, and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher USS Laboon, USS Mahan and USS Thomas Hudner.

On board the carrier are eight squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 3.

Sailors aboard the USS Thomas Hudner received Pfizer vaccinations on Jan. 23, and will receive their second dose this week.

RELATED USS Stout comes home after record-breaking 215 days at sea

"The vaccine is a great sign of all-around efforts to ensure health and safety of our Sailors," said Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, commanding officer of the USS Monterey.

Advertisement

"Many Sailors feel they're doing their part in helping make this pandemic a thing of the past. They choose to do itfor themselves, families and shipmates," Baggett said.

Vaccination is voluntary in the Navy, and about 70 percent of Navy personnel offered the vaccine have accepted it -- a higher rate than the general U.S. population -- USNI reported.

RELATED Eisenhower carrier returns from deployment after 7 months

"We're trying to get the facts out there to dissuade the disinformation that's in social media and other places with respect to the safety of the vaccine," Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell told reporters last month.

About 80 percent of members of the Eisenhower strike group expressed interest in obtaining the vaccine prior to their deployment.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement