ABILENE, Texas (News Release) — The 7th Medical Group received and administered the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to emergency service providers at Dyess Air Force Base on Friday.
“Team Dyess has shown tremendous endurance, resiliency and sacrifice over the past year as we’ve fought through this pandemic,” said Col. Jeffrey Cook, 7th MDG commander. “Today is the day that we go on the offensive against COVID-19.”
Earlier this month, the Air Force began distributing the COVID-19 vaccines to vital personnel. The vaccine is a two-part regimen given four weeks after the first dose, with a booster shot.
Because the vaccine is in short supply, it will be delivered in phases throughout the Department of Defense. The initial phase of the delivery plan targets emergency responders and health care workers. The next phases include elderly individuals, Airmen who are deploying, essential workers, individuals with high risk conditions and eventually all healthy adults.
“The vaccine is another layer of protection for our community on base and in the local area,” said Maj. Miranda Smith, 7th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy flight commander. “It’s important to get the vaccine because we should try to help protect ourselves and other people around us as we try to put a stop to the spread of the disease.”
At this point, the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary under the terms of the emergency use authorization. The Department of Defense strongly encourages everyone to get the vaccine to protect yourselves, your family and your community.
The World Health Organization states that herd immunity works because when the majority of the community are vaccinated, the disease can’t circulate. In other words, “the more that others are vaccinated, the less likely people who are unable to be protected by vaccines are at risk of even being exposed to the harmful pathogens.”
“While we can’t go back to pre-COVID-19 life yet, I take comfort in knowing that with every vaccine we give, we’ll be helping to lower transmission rates, prevent severer outcomes, reduce the burden to our local hospitals and strengthen Abilene and Team Dyess,” Cook said.