© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers Are On The Same Timeline As Civilians To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

The hospital at Fort Leonard Wood has ample ultra cold storage space to take in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 2019 file photo.
File photo / Jonathan Ahl
St. Louis Public Radio
The hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, shown in 2019, has ample ultra-cold storage space for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Most soldiers stationed at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood will have to wait a bit to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Defense is following the same priority order for military personnel to get the vaccine as for civilians. Front-line health workers at military hospitals will go first, followed by soldiers in high-risk categories, then everyone else. Most soldiers fall into that last category.

“Right now, our best projections are early spring for Fort Leonard Wood to see the vaccine for our trainees,” said Col. Aaron Bohrer, Fort Leonard Wood’s chief of operations and training. “Of course that can change, and basically we are getting daily updates from the medical professionals.”

Medical personnel at Fort Leonard Wood’s hospital will start receiving the vaccine in the coming weeks. The hospital is ready, with plenty of the ultra-cold storage needed for the vaccine.

But it’s too soon to know when the vaccine will arrive in amounts sufficient to distribute to all soldiers.

“As soon as we get those timelines, we will absolutely share that with the local community, and tell them what our priorities are and who will be available for shots, and what that distribution will look like,” Bohrer said.

Veterans will be on the same timeline as civilians, with VA health care personnel, veterans living in VA long-term care facilities and VA patients in high-risk categories getting the first doses.

The Missouri Veterans Commission says 145 residents of veterans homes in the state have died of the coronavirus since September.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

Jonathan is the Rolla correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.