States enlisting National Guard to assist COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Several states are calling on members of their National Guards to help speed COVID-19 vaccinations, CNBC reported Jan. 8.

Nationwide, more than 20,000 National Guard members are working on the vaccination effort, with at least nine states using Guard members to help administer vaccinations. At least 22 other states are using guard members to help with logistics and administrative tasks related to the vaccination process, CNBC reported. 

"The power of the military is logistics. The guard will be able to add to state and local health facilities and take some of the burden off of the civilian medical infrastructure," Emma Moore, a military analyst, told CNBC

In Maryland, some guard members are giving shots to residents, while others help health departments set up and maintain sites, establish social-distancing protocol at vaccination sites and make sure lines don't get overcrowded. 

Michigan was one of the first states to deploy its National Guard for the vaccination effort, and so far guard members have administered more than 8,000 COVID-19 shots, CNBC reported.

But many guard members have civilian jobs in the medical sector, and some states are reluctant to take them away from those jobs while they're battling a public health crisis, CNBC reported. 

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