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Limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Hanscom

Tech. Sgt. Jordan Swaner, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of diagnostic imaging, receives a COVID-19 vaccination from Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations clinic at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Tech. Sgt. Jordan Swaner, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of diagnostic imaging, receives a COVID-19 vaccination from Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations clinic at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations, administers the COVID-19 Vaccine to Staff Sgt. Frederick Olivari, 2nd Weather Squadron, Detachment 2 maintenance technician, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14 (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations, administers the COVID-19 Vaccine to Staff Sgt. Frederick Olivari, 2nd Weather Squadron, Detachment 2 maintenance technician, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14 (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Senior Airman Brett Einsidler, 66th Medical Squadron Public Health technician, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Tech. Sgt. Sherie Gregory, 66 MDS Flight Chief Aerospace, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

Senior Airman Brett Einsidler, 66th Medical Squadron Public Health technician, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Tech. Sgt. Sherie Gregory, 66 MDS Flight Chief Aerospace, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations, administers the COVID-19 Vaccine to Chief Master Sgt. Justin Geers, 66th Security Forces Squadron manager, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Staff Sgt. Tyler Watkins, 66th Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of immunizations, administers the COVID-19 Vaccine to Chief Master Sgt. Justin Geers, 66th Security Forces Squadron manager, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Jan. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The 66th Medical Squadron here began administering a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine today to first responders and front-line medical personnel as outlined by the Department of Defense distribution plan.  

The phase-driven plan establishes the prioritization of vaccines to be distributed to the base community. In addition to healthcare providers, including support staff, and first responders, personnel who will be among the first to receive this limited initial dose include critical support staff, deploying forces and those who would be placed at highest risk by contracting COVID-19. .

While vaccination is voluntary at this time, MDS officials are encouraging all prioritized members to receive the vaccine. Personnel will be notified through their chain of command once they are eligible to be vaccinated.

Senior leaders noted that it’s of utmost importance that vaccines not be wasted.

“If we cannot deplete our full supply within the designated phase of distribution, we will open it up to the next phase temporarily until the supply is gone and re-prioritize the appropriate phase when we receive a new supply,” said Col. Mark Oordt, 66 MDS commander.

Any members in the current distribution phase should be aware of timing conflicts between other vaccinations, such as the influenza vaccine, and COVID-19 vaccine doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 14 days between the flu and COVID vaccines to ensure safety and efficacy.

Hanscom Public Health officials said that, even with a vaccine in play, all personnel will still be required to wear appropriate face coverings and practice physical distancing until COVID-19 diminishes, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

Additional information will be posted to www.Hanscom.af.mil/Coronavirus.