WPAFB to vaccinate mission critical staff


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — In his first COVID town hall update of the new year, Col. Patrick Miller addressed the status of vaccine distribution at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. As of right now, Wright-Patt is in distribution phase 1B, though the priority list defined by the Department of Defense may be updated in the coming days.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory on the installation as of yet, and is still under Emergency Use Authorization. However, the commander strongly encouraged those listening to schedule their vaccinations as soon as possible.

“We still need vaccines to turn into vaccinations,” he said. “A vaccine’s useless sitting on the shelf, it’s only good whenever it’s stuck in your arm, and you are vaccinated. Vaccinations are what matter.”

Wright-Patterson has completed phase 1A of the vaccine rollout, in which the vaccine was administered to healthcare workers and first responders. Those personnel are now eligible for their second dose of the vaccine at Wright-Patt Medical Center.

Wright-Patterson’s 1B phase means that the vaccine will next be administered to those the Department of Defense deems mission essential. This includes those serving in critical national capabilities, deployed personnel, and essential support personnel.

Phases two and three of Wright-Patterson’s vaccine rollout means the vaccine will be available to high-risk beneficiaries and then the healthy population, respectively. The Air Force is using the CDC criteria to define those individuals. Once the vaccine is available to those groups, that information will be made public, Miller said.

“We are going to be as transparent as possible throughout this process,” he added. “We will continue to give shots until we run out of doses.”

All phases apply to both uniformed and non-uniformed personnel at Wright-Patterson.

In his opening remarks, Miller also noted that the installation did not see the post-holiday bump in cases that they were expecting on the installation.

“What you did over the holidays matters, and is working,” Miller said, referring to the health and remote celebration guidelines the commander advised prior to Christmas.

DoD priority list may be changed in the coming days.

By London Bishop

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Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter

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