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Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine arrives at LRAFB

a vaccine

An Airman from the 19th Medical Group assesses doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccines by an Emergency Use Authorization on Dec. 18, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

men unboxing vaccines

Airmen from the 19th Medical Group assess the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. Little Rock AFB is utilizing a phased distribution of immunization as specified by the Department of Defense beginning with medical personnel and first responders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

men hold vaccines

Staff Sgt. Bush Meister, 19th Medical Group NCO in charge of medical equipment, and Tech. Sgt. Taylor Ramos, NCO in charge of medical material, examine doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. Distribution of the vaccine will follow DoD’s phased priority plan. The 19th MDG received 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine, for distribution to first responders and members in roles supporting national critical capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

a man holds a vaccine

An Airman from the 19th Medical Group unpacks the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. The 19th MDG received 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which will be distributed following DoD’s phased priority plan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

a man holds a vaccine

An Airman from the 19th Medical Group examines a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is given in two doses and is 94.1% effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

a man stores vaccine

Staff Sgt. Bush Meister, 19th Medical Group NCO in charge of medical equipment, stores the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 13, 2021. Initial quantities of the vaccine are limited and will be distributed on a rolling delivery basis as more vaccines become available. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Medics at the 19th Medical Group received the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine here Jan. 13, and inoculations are scheduled to begin Jan. 14.

Distribution of the vaccine will follow DoD’s phased priority plan. The first allocation of the vaccine will be used to immunize first responders and front line medical workers, those who provide essential national security and installation functions, personnel slated for deployment overseas within the next three months, and Military and Civilian Airmen at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. 

“Our Ready Medics are prepared to rapidly execute a well-developed COVID-19 vaccination plan,” said Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “Their tireless efforts and dedication to preserving our force and mission readiness have underwritten our ability to continue to deliver agile combat airlift despite the challenges of the pandemic.”

As the distribution is carried out, information on the timeline of subsequent phases will be provided through command channels, the installation’s website, and social media platforms.

“This vaccine is a critical addition to current public health measures,” said Maj. (Dr.) Christyn Beal Randolph, the Public Health Emergency Officer. “We encourage all eligible personnel to receive the vaccine when it is offered. This will lower the public health risks, helping to protect the community, and preserve our ability to accomplish the mission. It’s a critical step on the path to end the pandemic.”

The vaccines will be offered initially on a voluntary basis. After first responders and healthcare workers are vaccinated, Schutte will be in line and encourages others to do so.

“The arrival of this vaccine represents the beginning of a turning point in our battle against the virus,” said Schutte.  “I am grateful that an end to this fight is within sight, as we continue to do everything we can to help stop the spread of the virus.”

A second dose of the vaccine is required to further increase immunity. As schedules for additional shipments become available, members will be contacted through the same channels to receive their second vaccination shot.  

“The health of our community remains our top priority,” said Maj. (Dr.) Beal Randolph. “All DoD personnel should continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, and follow restriction of movement guidance to protect our safety, as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.”

For the most up-to-date information on the vaccine visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html