Homecoming held for U.S. Navy Surgeon General in Jacksonville

US Navy Surgeon General Bruce Gillingham visited the Gateway vaccination clinic on Thursday. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A homecoming was held for U.S. Navy Surgeon General Bruce Gillingham, who visited the Gateway vaccination clinic Thursday morning.

Gillingham served as the commanding officer for the Naval Hospital of Jacksonville a decade ago. He came to observe the collaboration between agencies and the work that’s being done.

While at the Gateway vaccination clinic, Gillingham said he’s heard concerns that the vaccine was developed quickly, but he said the vaccine development actually has been going on for more than a decade.

“I think the community needs to know the vaccine being offered here is very safe and it’s really the best protection they can get against the virus and will allow the CDC and the FDA to work through the Johnson & Johnson issue and will follow that guidance,” said Gillingham.

Gillingham is encouraging everyone to get the vaccine.

“It is a very safe vaccine available and they should come and take advantage of it,” he said.

Gillingham said the Department of Defense is working together to aggressively vaccinate all of its troops.

“We really see the vaccine as biologic body armor. We would never send our troops into an adversarial situation without protection and in this case against this virus it’s the best protection,” Gillingham said.

Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Scott Dingle said it’s well on its way to meeting its goal of having 80% of its active-duty force vaccinated by July 4.

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