WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has received and distributed its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine, the base announced Monday evening.
Staff at Wright-Patterson Medical Center began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday, starting with Air Force medical staff and first responders. This first wave of vaccine distribution follows guidance from the Department of Defense, which prioritizes health care providers, support staff, emergency services and public safety personnel.
Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, noted during his December coronavirus town hall that Wright-Patterson was prepared for receiving and distributing the vaccine. Base officials did not respond as to how many doses of the vaccine Wright-Patterson had received by press time.
“Our vaccination plan for Team Wright-Patt is to prioritize our medical staff and first responders,” Miller said in a release. “This significantly improves mission readiness and ensures our front-line Airmen are ready and safe as we navigate the next phase of the pandemic.”
In the same December COVID briefing, Miller encouraged all military and veterans to get the vaccine, once it is available to the public.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is another item in our toolkit as medical professionals to help combat the pandemic, one that can provide long-term solutions to allow for better mission readiness and normal operating environments,” said Lt. Col. Thad Ocampo, chief of the 88th Medical Group’s Allergy and Immunizations Clinic. “Medical center staff have been preparing for this a few months now and are trained in safe vaccine protocols. We have plenty of medical supplies on hand to support vaccines and are ready to support our community.”
The Pfizer vaccine requires vaccine recipients to receive a second dose in at least three weeks’ time. In the statement, Ocampo recommended that vaccine recipients schedule their second vaccine dose the same day, to ensure they receive it as close to the 21-day mark as possible.
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