FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Team Fairchild’s 92nd Medical Group received its first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 15, to be distributed to Airmen.
Beginning Jan.15, the 92nd MDG will administer the vaccine in accordance with the Department of Defense’s phased approach, which prioritizes first responders, health care workers, public safety personnel and select deploying individuals.
“Our medics are highly trained and have been preparing for this moment,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Cutter, 92nd Healthcare Operations Squadron commander. “The team is excited to fight the virus and offer the vaccine to Fairchild’s Airmen, and once available, families and beneficiaries.”
Vaccines will be offered to 92nd MDG beneficiaries, including military family members and retirees as more vaccines are available, and after prioritized groups and individuals have been given the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“We will continue to receive additional follow-on vaccine shipments well into this summer,” Cutter said. “Our goal is to distribute the vaccine and offer it to everyone who wants it and is eligible to receive it from us by mid-summer.”
Receiving the vaccine is voluntary, but all DoD personnel are encouraged to get it to protect their health, their families and their community.
“This vaccine is voluntary, but the COVID-19 virus that has been influencing world events for the last several months is not,” said Lt. Col. Brett Linck, 92nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron commander. “It is very infectious, having already infected at least 21 million people in the U.S., and led to over 360,000 US deaths.”
The DoD states that the vaccines it has secured have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase clinical trials, have shown to be manufactured and distributed safely and securely, and have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use.
“There is a tremendous amount of misinformation about COVID-19 out there. Some of this is due to misunderstanding, but a lot of it is due to intentional attempts to undermine faith in the vaccines,” Linck said. “It is always the medics’ responsibility to provide you with the best and most accurate information available.”
The end-state is that the DoD is able to reduce the burden of COVID-19 in high-risk populations and simultaneously mitigate risk to military operations.
“The vaccine, once both doses are given, is expected to give us 95 percent protection against COVID-19,” said Linck. “Once enough people are protected, we will begin to see a drop in the number of sick, hospitalized, and dying people. That will enable us to begin to return to a normal mission posture and begin to live and work the way we used to.
Team Fairchild remains committed to protecting its Airmen, families, beneficiaries and maintaining mission readiness, while supporting the national COVID-19 response.
“It’s awesome to be able to get the vaccine because we are a pretty high risk group being health care providers, and it makes it less likely for us to catch the virus, spread it to our families and spread anything to anyone else,” Capt. Courtney Beaver, 97th Air Refueling Squadron flight surgeon. “I was excited to get this because it was the first step forward for Fairchild to get out there start vaccinating, and contributing to herd immunity.”
For more information about the vaccine, please visit the website below.