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Public Health discusses COVID-19 vaccine status during virtual town hall

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base leaders hosted a virtual town hall to discuss Hanscom’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan here Feb 4.

During the one-hour session, Public Health officials fielded questions about vaccine recipient eligibility as outlined in the Department of Defense prioritization schema.

Officials began vaccinating personnel noted in Phases 1a and 1b beginning Feb. 5 at 8 a.m. at the Youth Center here and will continue to do so while the limited supplies last.

“Anyone deemed eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1a and who hasn’t gotten it yet can still receive it now in Phase 1b,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Gough, 66th Medical Squadron public health emergency officer.

Eligible individuals for the current round of vaccines have been notified, and vaccines are administered on a first-come, first-served basis to beneficiaries over. Doses cannot be reserved.

Gough said all eligible members are encouraged to receive the vaccine, except members who are preparing to permanently change station or deploy.

“If you cannot receive both doses of the vaccine at the same installation, we recommend waiting until you have arrived at your next station,” he said. “You cannot mix brands of the vaccine by receiving a first dose of Moderna and a second dose of Pfizer.”

Gough noted the goal of Public Health is to increase the “immunity of the community.”

Additional questions can be sent directly to 66 MDS Public Health by emailing usaf.hanscom.66-abg.list.publichealth@mail.mil.

Eric Ledebuhr, Hanscom Middle School principal, gave an update to the school’s program that offers students the choice to attend classes entirely virtually or in person.

“We are currently one of the only schools in the state to offer that,” said Ledebuhr.

He continued to explain that HMS will begin testing for students and staff members, per a Lincoln Public School Superintendent bulletin.

“This will ensure another level of safety for all of us,” he said.

The next virtual town hall is slated for Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. Viewers can submit questions and answer polls throughout the presentation by visiting https://pollev.com/matthewpowel118