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Coronavirus: Pentagon will deploy troops to assist COVID-19 vaccine drive in US

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The Pentagon will deploy troops to assist getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said Friday.

Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It means about 1,000 active duty military personnel will deploy to help state vaccination centers.

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President Joe Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month. Two are opening in California, and Slavitt said military personnel will arrive at those centers in a little over a week.

The Pentagon has scheduled a news briefing later Friday to provide more information about the military role.

Slavitt said support from the military will play a critical role in supporting vaccination sites, helping administer thousands of shots a day.