WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base started out the New Year with receipt of its first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shipment.
Wright-Patterson Medical Center began administering the vaccine Monday to Air Force medical staff and first responders in accordance with the Department of Defense’s phased approach, which prioritizes health care providers, support staff, emergency services and public safety personnel.
DOD officials said the initial supply is limited and will focus on those personnel who are critical to the response, provide direct care or those at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.
“Our vaccination plan for Team Wright-Patt is to prioritize our medical staff and first responders,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander. “This significantly improves mission readiness and ensures our front-line Airmen are ready and safe as we navigate the next phase of the pandemic.”
The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination of Airmen and beneficiaries is a critical component of U.S. strategy and international efforts to reduce COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths, according to DOD officials.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is another item in our toolkit as medical professionals to help combat the pandemic, one that can provide long-term solutions to allow for better mission readiness and normal operating environments,” said Lt. Col. Thad Ocampo, chief of the 88th Medical Group’s Allergy and Immunizations Clinic. “Medical center staff have been preparing for this a few months now and are trained in safe vaccine protocols. We have plenty of medical supplies on hand to support vaccines and are ready to support our community.”
The Pfizer vaccine currently being administered on Wright-Patt requires two doses at least 21 days apart.
Ocampo recommends that vaccine recipients schedule their second vaccine dose the same day to ensure they receive it as close to the 21-day mark as possible.
As the medical center moves into each phase of the vaccination plan and expands vaccines to beneficiaries, patients can expect reduced services while medical staff makes schedule adjustments.
More information will be released as it is available.