Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field have received initial shipments of the vaccine
EGLIN AFB — Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field have received initial shipments of the coronavirus vaccine, according to announcements from both installations.
"We have the vaccine rolled out at Eglin," Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, commander of the 96th Test Wing and also the installation commander, said during his regular update to Eglin AFB on Thursday.
Speaking via Facebook on video, Cain said, "We have the vaccine rolled out at Eglin, which is another weapon in our arsenal against the pandemic."
According to Cain, Eglin has "started to inoculate our medics and first responders." going forward, he said, the base will "continue to follow the CDC (federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and DoD (federal Department of Defense) phasing plans as we get through those priority personnel."
Under the DoD phasing plan, after the healthcare personnel and first responders are inoculated against COVID-19, the vaccine will go to personnel with "critical national capabilities," and form there to personnel preparing to deploy outside the United States. Next in line for the first phase of military vaccine distribution will be "other critical and essential support personnel," according to the DoD.
The second phase of DoD vaccine distribution will cover dependents of DoD personnel who are at high risk of contracting the virus, through such factors as age and pre-existing medical conditions.
The third and final phase of the DoD distribution plan will cover the healthy military population.
Elsewhere locally, Hurlburt Field, headquarters of Air Force Special Operations Command, announced Friday that it had received an initial round of the coronavirus vaccine.
As at Eglin, paramedics, firefighters, security forces and other first responders are among the first members on base to receive the vaccine, according to a Friday news release from the 1st Special Operations Wing, host unit at Hurlburt Field.
"Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Wing critical to the planning and execution of specialized and contingency operations in support of national priorities are also among the first members slated to receive the vaccine," according to the news release.
The 1st SOW is the most-deployed wing in the Air Force.
“Our team feels very prepared to begin distribution and we are very excited to be part of this historic event,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Justin Read, point of distribution manager with the 1st Special Operations Medical Group, said in the release.
The vaccine distribution team at Hurlburt Field comprises roughly three dozen airmen who have trained and prepared for the vaccine’s arrival.
"The team has meticulously planned for this operation since November, ensuring that all logistical avenues, to include storage, training, shipping and receiving processes, are perfected to ensure the success of this new tool in the fight against COVID-19," notes the Friday news release.