Questions were sent to a base spokeswoman about what “adjustments” might be made.
The Air Force is not defining who is “high-risk,” he said. U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines are followed there —with that category including older adults and people with serious medical conditions.
The vaccine will be available for uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, as well as dependents and retirees.
“We will continue to give shots until we run out of doses. But we will do it in that schema ... that I outlined,” Miller said.
The base has seen no adverse reactions to the vaccine, said Col. Christian Lyons, commander of the 88th Medical Group.
Lyons appealed to listeners to dismiss vaccine skepticism, rumors and “misinformation.”
“We know that those who engage with people, whom they trust, regarding their personal experiences with receiving the vaccine, in these cases, this has shifted many people’s anxieties about receiving the vaccine to now a desire to receive the vaccine,” Lyons said.
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Thad Ocampo, who is chief of the Allergy and Immunizations clinics at Wright-Patterson, maintained that the vaccine is safe, with “rigorous” testing conducted for some 70,000 trial subjects nationwide, achieving“95, 94% effectiveness.”
“Over 5 million Americans across the nation have already received the vaccine, (but) we still have a lot of work ahead to get to that herd immunity,” Ocampo said.
The base plans to host panels of physicians and experts on the vaccine to educate those within and outside the base fence, Lyons and Miller both said.
There was no “post-holiday” bump in COVID cases, Miller also said Wednesday.
“We are seeing great progress on the installation” in the battle against COVID, the colonel said. “You’re doing awesome work.”
The base remains in health protection condition “Bravo,” and Miller said he doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
Ohio’s largest single-site employer, much of Wright-Patterson has been closed down for the past nearly 10 months of the global COVID-19 pandemic, with just 10% of the base’s typical 30,000 military and civilian workers permitted to be physically on base in the pandemic’s earliest weeks.
By May, commanders were allowed to bring up to 20% of their assigned workforce back to base offices. Most workers continued — and continue — to work from home or elsewhere.
Miller assumed command of the 88th Air Base Wing in June.
By September, Miller announced the prevailing health protection condition had shifted from “Charlie” to “Bravo,” meaning half of the base’s typical workforce could conceivably be permitted to return, boosting the daily presence on the base to 15,000 or so workers.
But Miller has repeatedly emphasized that reaching 15,000 on-site workers is not a target or a goal, and he has called on commanders to exercise caution in bringing workers back.
“Only bring the folks in that you need to bring in,” Miller said Wednesday.