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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with National Guard troops on Capitol Hill. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta-Pool/Getty Images

The Defense Department will send more than 1,000 active-duty military personnel to support mass coronavirus vaccination sites in states across the country, the White House COVID-19 response team announced on Friday.

Why it matters: The Pentagon approved a request from FEMA to provide military assistance for five vaccination centers as part of an effort to meet President Biden's goal of vaccinating 100 million people (with at least one dose) within his first 100 days in office.

Between the lines: FEMA's full request was for 10,000 troops to be deployed to 100 mass vaccination sites. It's unclear if or when this will happen.

Details: The first contingent of troops will arrive in California "within the next ten days to begin operations there around Feb. 15, with additional vaccination missions soon to follow," White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt announced at a press briefing.

  • The military will eventually seek to administer as many as 450,000 vaccines a day, according to CNN.
  • The DOD will provide a press briefing Friday afternoon with more details.

The big picture: Slavitt also announced that "six more companies will surge manufacturing of at-home test kits, with the goal of — by summer — having millions of Americans being able to access at-home tests."

The bottom line: The Biden administration is engaging in a "whole-of-government" campaign to curb the coronavirus pandemic and get the country on the path to normalcy.

Go deeper

Tech troubles snarl seniors' attempts to sign up for vaccines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Seniors are supposed to be among the first Americans to get COVID-19 vaccines, but they're running into a major problem: Signing up for the appointments online.

The big picture: Millions of older Americans aren't online at all, and many who do have internet access are struggling to find and use the sign-up portals that local health officials have scrambled to set up.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Feb 4, 2021 - Health

Moderna CEO says company needs to adapt with coronavirus variants

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. Photo: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Moderna's CEO Stéphane Bancel tells Axios the company's coronavirus vaccine made it to market in near-record time thanks in part to a unique digital foundation.

The big picture: Moderna is far smaller than many of its pharma competitors, but it made one of the first authorized COVID-19 vaccines. But the company still needs to adapt to a mutating virus — and come up with its next blockbuster product.

Feb 5, 2021 - Health

How COVID is disrupting the drug supply chain

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health has some warnings about the pandemic causing drug shortages — and some ideas on what to do about it.

Driving the news: COVID is increasing the demand for drugs that are needed to treat patients with the virus — like sedatives and vasopressors, which help patients with low blood pressure, per the report.

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