US Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Lloyd Austin has authorised an additional 20 active-duty troops to support Covid-19 vaccination efforts.

The move comes in response to a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of its Covid-19 vaccination efforts.

The team will support FEMA at vaccination sites around the country, said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby at a press briefing.

According to Kirby, this will be ten 222-person teams and ten 139-person teams.

Teams with less personnel will be assigned to sites where a smaller number of people will be vaccinated.

Kirby said that these 20 teams have been put through training and are equipped to deliver the required assistance. They have also received ‘prepare to deploy’ orders.

The first 222-person team has already started to support a mass vaccination site in Los Angeles, California.

The latest deployment will take the DoD’s total count to over 4,700 Title 10 personnel, Kirby added.

Since last year, over 26,000 National Guard members and 3,000 active-duty members have been supporting coronavirus stemming efforts.

Kirby further stated: “We will continue to work with FEMA as they refine their plan for vaccination sites across the country.”

Last December, the DoD unveiled a phased plan for the distribution of initial and subsequent batches of the Covid-19 vaccine.