'Between 1,000 to 1,500 vaccinations a day': Fort Bragg ramps up COVID-19 shots by including 'high-risk' dependents 16 years and older

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fort Bragg health officials are set to begin vaccinating a whole new bracket of people in an effort to produce herd immunity within the military installation.

The Womack Army Medical Center is now moving to vaccinate 'high-risk' beneficiaries over the age of 16. The new qualifications will include anyone with a Department of Defense ID, including spouses, teenagers and most veterans.

Before this week, the 44th Medical Brigade had been distributing the vaccine to front line workers, mission-ready military members, DOD members who are 65 years and older, and mission essential personnel, like teachers, commissary employees and other essential civilians.

Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Colonel Scott Pence spoke to the media on Monday afternoon about the latest update. The colonel said, since January, health officials have been vaccinating anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 individuals on a daily basis.

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"What the senior commander wants to do is get to a point where enough people are vaccinated and have both the first dose and second dose that you can actually go into a room and not have a mask, and we can go into gyms, again, and actually do cardio machines and be in the gym together," Col. Pence said.

Those who qualify will receive an automated phone call for a scheduled vaccine appointment. Col. Pence said, if someone misses that call, the automated system will reach out a second time.

The two vaccine distribution centers are currently located at Womack Army Medical Center and USA Sports Bar along Longstreet Road. Col. Pence said they're looking to expand which could ramp up the vaccination rates.

"When you do the math, talk about 148,000 retirees and civilians and dependents associated with Fort Bragg, it's going to take some time to get that level of herd immunity of vaccines through Fort Bragg," Col. Pence said.

Fort Bragg officials told ABC11 they are seeing plenty of vaccine supply from the DOD and have not needed to throw any of it away.

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