MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan –The 22nd Air Refueling Wing has received its initial round of COVID-19 vaccines.
The limited number of vaccines available are currently being administered through a phased approach, to medical personnel, first responders, and key and essential personnel, beginning Jan. 19, 2021.
“The 22nd Medical Group's COVID-19 vaccine plan implements a 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,“ said Maj. Chase Ballinger, Diagnostics and Therapeutics Flight Commander, 22nd Healthcare Operations Squadron.
The vaccination plan coincides with the DOD’s recommendations and incorporates lessons learned from vaccination operations which occurred at other military bases.
The vaccine is given in a two-dose regimen, approximately 21 or 28 days apart depending on the specific vaccine.
“Subsequent vaccine distribution will be based on the DOD recommendations and will help ensure fair and equitable access to everyone, especially groups that are disproportionally affected by the pandemic,” he added.
At this time, the vaccine is voluntary for Airmen. The Department of Defense recommends everyone obtain the vaccine when possible as a protective health measure for themselves, their fellow Airmen, families and community, and to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just under 94 million COVID cases are confirmed worldwide as of Jan. 19, with 23.5 million of those cases coming from the United States, according to the World Health Organization.
Globally, COVID-19 has claimed more than 2 million lives as of Jan. 19. In the United States, COVID has claimed more than 394,000 American lives -- a number which grows daily.
One key point health officials stress is that even after one has received a dose of the vaccine, is the need to maintain the COVID precautions already in place. Practices such as social distancing, hand washing and utilization of masks will remain necessary to minimize risk of infection until a large portion of the population has been vaccinated.
Information about future rounds of vaccinations at McConnell Air Force Base will be shared at McConnell.af.mil and the McConnell AFB Facebook page.