Dover AFB Airmen receive COVID-19 vaccinations
By Roland Balik, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 20, 2021
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The first round of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Dover AFB last week. The 436th Medical Group started administering the vaccine to Team Dover frontline workers on January 15, 2021.
Base leaders developed a vaccination plan for selected individuals who volunteered to receive the vaccination in concurrence with Department of Defense guidance.
The first round vaccines were administered under the Emergency Use Authorization to prevent the COVID-19 virus and are the first of a two-dose series with the second dose to be given one month later.
“I’m extremely excited it [vaccine] is finally here,” said Col. Tracy Allen, 436th Medical Group commander. “I say finally even though it was incredibly fast; we’re not even quite a year into our first case being reported in the United States but to be standing here and know that we’re finally able to do something about it, [I’m] beyond happy about that part.”
The very first vaccination was both given and received by members of the 436th Medical Group.
“I feel like it was an honor to be the first person to get the vaccine and to kind of set a precedence for everyone else on base,” said Senior Airman Bianca Robichaud, 436th Health Care Operations Squadron acting family health noncommissioned officer in charge. “I encourage everyone else to go and get the vaccine.”
Staff Sgt. Kelsey Loeser, 436th Medical Group unit training manager, administered the vaccine to Robichaud.
“Giving the vaccine is a huge privilege and honor to help our community and our loved ones,” said Loeser. “This is a great advancement in the medical field, I encourage everyone to get the vaccine but it is a personal choice and that they need to make the decision that is best for them.”
One of the recipients expressed the importance of receiving the vaccine with the health of others in mind.
“I don’t feel particularly concerned about getting COVID myself, I feel that I would probably fair quite well, I’m concerned about that if I got it that I would pass it onto other people who might be more vulnerable than me,” said Moyra Molina, 436th MDG utilization manager and nurse. “As a nurse … I feel a responsibility to get vaccinated.”
Medical staff provided each recipient information about the vaccine they were about to be administered as well as assistance filling out a DHA Form 207, COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Document. Prior to receiving the vaccine, they were thoroughly screened by medical staff who answered any questions the recipients had.
“For a long time we’ve been focused on mitigation measures, [being on the] defense, wearing our masks, washing our hands and standing six-feet apart,” said Allen. “But this is the first time I feel like we’re going on the offense.”