6/11/20 Food Packing I

National Guard members Bieber and Long load boxes of food into the trunk of a car in June 2020.

Starting today, nearly 100,000 defense department family members and dependents who are enrolled in the military health-care program TRICARE qualify for vaccination, according to a press release from the Indiana National Guard.

TRICARE is the health-care program for uniformed service members, retirees and their families, per the website.

The Indiana National Guard started offering voluntary vaccination to its troops in December, and expanded to civilian Hoosiers in January, the release states.

Now, family members and dependents who are enrolled in TRICARE will be vaccinated along with service members at the Johnson County Armory in Franklin, according to the release.

Vaccinations will take place Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon, but times may adjust as demand dictates. The National Guard will administer the Pfizer vaccine, according to the release.

"Our Indiana National Guard healthcare providers remain committed to providing our DoD allotment of COVID-19 vaccine to all service members and eligible DoD beneficiaries in the shortest time possible to protect them from coronavirus disease," said 1st Sgt. Ryan Richmond, the Indiana National Guard's medical branch noncommissioned officer in charge, in the release.

Throughout the Hoosier State, the Indiana National Guard could vaccinate approximately 98,000 people, a third of whom live within 40 miles of the Franklin armory, the release states.

The Indiana National Guard receives independent vaccine allotments from the Department of Defense rather than relying solely on the Indiana Department of Health’s supply, the release states.

"Our capacity for vaccination continues to be high," Richmond said.

Eligible personnel, their family members and dependents, age 16 and older, may now schedule an vaccination appointment via the National Guard program at this link, the Indiana National Guard COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 317-247-3226, or ng.in.inarng.mbx.covidvax@mail.mil.

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