Army Works to Dispel Vaccine Misinformation

Army Works to Dispel Vaccine Misinformation

soldier giving vaccine
Photo by: U.S. Army/Spc. Robert P Wormley III

The Army is upping its efforts to combat misinformation and provide “full transparency” about the COVID-19 vaccines, the Army surgeon general said.

“We want full transparency about COVID-19 vaccines so that our beneficiaries and our soldiers can make a confident and informed choice about vaccinations,” Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle said April 26.

Through “an active communication campaign,” Dingle said, the Army has used virtual town halls, media calls, social media and direct messaging to communicate with beneficiaries and “ensure that they each have the latest information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.”

According to Dingle, the Army had administered more than 800,000 doses as of April 22, which is roughly 30% of the Army’s beneficiary population. The update comes after the Army expanded vaccine eligibility to everyone on April 19.

As part of larger efforts to be transparent, DoD began posting online vaccination statistics for all the services—an effort Army Medicine “fully supports,” Dingle said.

This week, the Army will “begin a controlled resumption” of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following a “thorough safety review” and green light from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, he said.

Earlier this month, the Army “immediately paused” distribution of the single-shot vaccine in accordance with guidance from the CDC and FDA after adverse reactions were reported, Dingle said.

“The pause is an example of this safely monitoring of systems working as they were designed to work,” Dingle said. “Vaccines save lives, and Americans should continue to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The danger of disease from COVID-19, he said, “clearly outweighs any risk” from the vaccine.

“We're committed to transparency with the public,” Dingle said. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the DoD COVID-19 task force and their tireless efforts to ensure vaccines are shipped all over the world, including to 80 different sites for the Army.”