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Naval Academy begins vaccinating faculty, staff

The Naval Academy started vaccinating staff and faculty against the coronavirus on Thursday, the academy announced.

The academy has completed the first part of Phase 1, according to a statement released by the academy, which means first responders, health care personnel and public health workers at the academy now have the first dose of the vaccine. The release did not say if the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine was used.

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The vaccine was also given to staff with the Naval Academy Business Services Division and King Hall who work closely with midshipmen, according to a Facebook post from the academy. Commandant of the Brigade of Midshipmen Capt. Thomas R. Buchanan received his first dose, as well.

Midshipmen are in the second phase of vaccine dispersal and will receive the vaccine once it is administered, on a voluntary basis, to those in the second and third parts of phase one. The academy is trying to prioritize those who are older, have pre-existing conditions that make them high risk and those who interact with the midshipmen.

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The speed of vaccine administration will depend on availability, which is influenced by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocation.

It is not clear if Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck received the vaccine. He said in the release that he is “thrilled” that the academy has begun vaccinating.

“Our No. 1 priority has been safeguarding the health of our entire Naval Academy family during this pandemic and this is another important step toward ensuring we are able to do that while continuing to accomplish the mission of the U.S. Naval Academy,” he said in the release.

The vaccine is expected to be widely available to Naval personnel by mid-2021. Until then mask usages and other COVID-19 guidelines will remain in place at the academy.

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