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178th Wing administers COVID-19 vaccine

Image of an Airman holding a syringe.

A U.S. Air Force 1st. Lt. Greg Geisler, a clinical nurse assigned to the 178th Medical Group, prepares the COVID-19 vaccination, Jan. 9, 2021, at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Vaccine administration reduces the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigates risk to military operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

Image of an Airman receiving a vaccine.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Delani Ortiz, a medic assigned to the 178th Medical Group, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Tech. Sgt. Steven Snyder, a flight chief assigned to the 178th Security Forces Squadron, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Vaccine administration reduces the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigates risk to military operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

Image of an Airman working on paper work.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Delani Ortiz, a medic assigned to the 178th Medical Group, prepares COVID-19 vaccine paperwork, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Vaccine administration reduces the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigates risk to military operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

Image of an Airman handing another Airman a piece of paper.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kari Boyle, a public health technician assigned to the 178th Medical Group, hands screening paperwork to Tech. Sgt. Steven Snyder, a flight chief assigned to the 178th Security Forces Squadron, Jan 9, 2021 Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Public Health screened each 178th member prior to receiving their first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

Image of Airmen working on paper work.

U.S. Air Force Medics assigned to the 178th Medical Group prepare the processing line for administration of the COVID-19 vaccination, Jan. 9, 2021, at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Distribution of local vaccinations is based on a phased approach sent out by the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

Image of an Airman holding the vaccine vial.

A U.S. Air Force Medic assigned to the 178th Medical Group holds the COVID-19 vaccination, Jan. 9, 2021, at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio.Vaccine administration reduces the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigates risk to military operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

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 21 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 health care, 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/.

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