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JBA first responders are base’s first recipients of historic COVID-19 vaccine

By 316th Wing Public Affairs Office

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Members from the 316th Medical Group administered the new Moderna COVID-19 vaccine here, Dec. 30, 2020.

Approximately 12 individuals representing the 316th MDG, 316th Security Forces Group, and 316th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire Department were vaccinated on the first day of Phase One vaccinations on base.

In this early stage of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, supplies will be finite and are being distributed based on a Department of Defense prioritization plan consistent with the Centers for Disease Control’s data-driven guidance.

Medical personnel and front-line first responders comprise the initial group being vaccinated on base. Within a month, these first responders will receive the second Moderna booster shot.

The three commanders of the respective units attended and received the vaccine as well.

“I felt privileged to be vaccinated in the first phase this morning,” said Col. Shayne Stokes, MD, 316th MG chief of staff and an immunologist. “I have full confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, which lowers the risk of severe disease by more than 90 percent and is incredibly safe.”

He also said he hopes everyone will get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them because it is the only way out of the pandemic. For now, all the precautions taken by individuals to fight the spread of COVID-19 are still critical.

The JBA community must continue to wear appropriate facial coverings, practice social distancing, wash hands, and follow applicable restrictions of movement to protect individual safety through the vaccination phases.

“The leaders here at Joint Base Andrews have been working diligently to prepare for the initial phases of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out," said Col. Tyler Schaff, 316th Wing and JBA commander. "I am continually impressed by our ability to work together across all agencies to facilitate such an undertaking. Our continued coordination and cooperation ensures that we are doing our utmost to keep the JBA community safe as we continue to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”