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News | May 6, 2021

45th MDG begins initial COVID-19 vaccinations

Medical technicians from the 45th Medical Group administered their first round of COVID-19 vaccinations Jan. 14, 2021, at Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. The first round of vaccines were administered to our first responders and healthcare personnel tier as well as our critical national capability tier.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, though the 45th Medical Group recommends it to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“COVID vaccines are another tool in our tool bag to help prevent the spread of COVID and hopefully end this pandemic,” said Col. Tracy Bozung, medical doctor and 45th Medical Group commander. “The initial data shows great promise in terms of being safe and effective to prevent infection of the COVID-19 virus. For the vaccination to be maximally effective at the population level, it is going to take a lot of us getting vaccinated so we can return to normal.”

As the 45th Medical Group receives additional vaccines in the future, the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine plan will be used to distribute the limited supply of vaccines received.

“Currently we will use the same type of process as we did with our ‘flu shot lines’,” said Bozung. “As we receive more vaccines, we will move down the tiers and offer it to additional people. We will continue to update information about vaccine availability on the 45th MDG Facebook page.”

This first vaccination opportunity is an important first step by the 45th Space Wing and mission partners, and is part of the overall national and international plan to combat COVID-19,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen Purdy, 45th Space Wing commander. “There will be future vaccination rounds required to complete our journey to put COVID-19 behind us.”

Purdy went on to express how these vaccines better enable us to see a positive future, filled with hope and focus, helping us to overcome a pretty difficult past several months.

“That positive future is critically important not only for our missions at the 45th Space Wing, but for our Airmen, Guardians, families, communities and Nation,” said Purdy.

The 45th Medical Group will continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines while following the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine plan to ‘implement a phased, standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the national COVID-19 response.’

“While it is an optional vaccine, I strongly encourage people to consider the data and opt to take the vaccine,” said Bozung. “There is a higher likelihood of contracting COVID-19 than having significant side effects to the vaccine.”

“The vaccines went through the same initial rigorous evaluation process as prior vaccines, it just happened at a faster rate for several reasons,” explained Bozung. “A high priority from the government and medical communities, a lot of funding, a lot of volunteers to receive the vaccines during the initial test phases and a lot of dedicated professionals ensuring rapid manufacturing and distribution. It has been a team effort and we as receivers of the vaccine are the next link in the chain to resolving the pandemic.”

For more information about the DoD COVID-19 vaccine plan, please visit:
https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Vaccine-Availability/
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