178th Wing administers COVID-19 vaccine
By Story by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar, 178th Wing
/ Published January 15, 2021
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio --
The 178th Medical Group began administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Jan. 9, to base personnel.
The vaccine will be administered in a two-dose series, separated by a mandatory wait time of 28 days, said Lt. Col. Brad A. Kennedy, 178th Medical Group deputy commander. The vaccinations are being distributed based on a phased approach sent out by the Department of Defense.
The DoD is implementing a standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing, and administering a COVID-19 vaccine through a phased approach to all Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, as well as all mission-essential Department of Defense civilian employees and other personnel performing mission essential functions, including healthcare, emergency services personnel, and critical support.
“We ask that service members be patient,” said Major Natalie A. Diltz, 178th Medical Group physician’s assistant. “There are a lot of logistics to figure out with who can get the vaccine and when.”
The 178th Medical Group commander, Col. Matthew Moorman said they will continue to alert those that have volunteered for the vaccination as more doses are allocated to the base.
“Behind the scenes is a mountain of work done by a very small group of people at the Medical Group,” said Moorman. “But because of all the work that the team has done here, the process to the customer should seem seamless.”
The vaccine is currently offered under an Emergency Use Authorization, making vaccinations voluntary. However, Moorman encourages members to obtain the vaccine when it becomes available to them to help ensure mission readiness and community safety.
Vaccine administration is being accomplished to reduce the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigate risk to military operations.
“It is very exciting,” said Col. Kimberly Fitzgerald, 178th Wing commander. “I hope that this is the beginning of the end of the effects of this pandemic.”
Fitzgerald is one of the many Airmen who volunteered to receive the COVID vaccine when made available to them.
Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase-three clinical trials, have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have been manufactured and distributed safely and securely.
Find more information on the DoD’s response to the pandemic at www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/