WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Pentagon will offer the H1N1 vaccination to detainees at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, officials there said Friday.
The Pentagon made the decision based on U.S. government assessments that people held in detention facilities are at high risk for the pandemic, said Maj. Diana R. Haynie, a spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, which is in charge of holding the suspected terrorists.
"Detainees at JTF Guantanamo are considered to be at higher risk and therefore they will be offered the H1N1 vaccination," Haynie said.
"JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees. As such, we must provide detainees the medical care necessary to maintain their health," she said.
Base officials had not received the vaccinations and did not know when they were expected to arrive, Haynie said.
Once the vaccinations are received, doses will be administered to active-duty personnel before being offered to detainees and others on the base, Haynie said.
The vaccination is mandatory for all uniformed personnel, she said.
The vaccinations will be voluntary for the detainees, who will be briefed on the virus and the vaccine prior to deciding whether to receive the latter.
Some of the detainees have already voluntarily taken the seasonal flu shot, Haynie said.