Wright-Patterson Medical Center administering COVID-19 vaccine

Maj. Kito Brooks, an 88th Medical Group podiatrist, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Capt. Erica Eyer, an 88 MDG flight commander with the Aerospace Operational Medicine Clinic, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Jan. 4. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES
Maj. Kito Brooks, an 88th Medical Group podiatrist, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Capt. Erica Eyer, an 88 MDG flight commander with the Aerospace Operational Medicine Clinic, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Jan. 4. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES

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Health care, public safety personnel receive priority

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base started out the New Year with receipt of its first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipment.

Wright-Patterson Medical Center began administering the vaccine Monday to Air Force medical staff and first responders in accordance with the Department of Defense’s phased approach, which prioritizes health care providers, support staff, emergency services and public safety personnel.

DOD officials said the initial supply is limited and will focus on those personnel who are critical to the response, provide direct care or those at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.

“Our vaccination plan for Team Wright-Patt is to prioritize our medical staff and first responders,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander. “This significantly improves mission readiness and ensures our front-line Airmen are ready and safe as we navigate the next phase of the pandemic.”

The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination of Airmen and beneficiaries is a critical component of U.S. strategy and international efforts to reduce COVID-19

Maj. Richard Brocksmith, an 88th Medical Group nurse anesthetist, listens to instructions from Maj. Holly Holko, 88 MDG medical services flight commander, while receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Dale Guinther, an 88 MDG nurse, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Jan. 4. Portions of this photo have been altered for security reasons. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES
Maj. Richard Brocksmith, an 88th Medical Group nurse anesthetist, listens to instructions from Maj. Holly Holko, 88 MDG medical services flight commander, while receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Dale Guinther, an 88 MDG nurse, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Jan. 4. Portions of this photo have been altered for security reasons. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES

illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths, according to DOD officials.

“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 supplies on hand and are ready to support our community.”

The Pfizer vaccine currently being administered on Wright-Patt requires two doses at least 21 days apart.

Ocampo recommends 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.

As the medical center moves into each phase of the vaccination plan and expands vaccines to beneficiaries, patients can expect reduced services while medical staff makes schedule adjustments.

More information will be released as it is available.

Col. Patrick Miller (center), 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, is briefed by 88th Medical Group personnel Jan. 4 as the COVID-19 vaccine is administered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Portions of this photo have been altered for security reasons. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES
Col. Patrick Miller (center), 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, is briefed by 88th Medical Group personnel Jan. 4 as the COVID-19 vaccine is administered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Portions of this photo have been altered for security reasons. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES

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