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Base to offer Pfizer COVID vaccines to beneficiaries 16 and older

Airmen 1st Class Natalie Wilson, a medical technician from the 28th Healthcare Operations Squadron, administers a second COVID-19 vaccine to Airman 1st Class Tresten Mashtare, a 28th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, at the Installation Deployment Readiness Center on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Feb. 11, 2021. Beneficiaries and base personnel who have not received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines previously will have the opportunity to receive their initial (or second for those who have already received their first through the 28th Medical Group) dose March 19, at a point of distribution (POD) site in the base IDRC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Airmen 1st Class Natalie Wilson, a medical technician from the 28th Healthcare Operations Squadron, administers a second COVID-19 vaccine to Airman 1st Class Tresten Mashtare, a 28th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, at the Installation Deployment Readiness Center on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Feb. 11, 2021. Beneficiaries and base personnel who have not received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines previously will have the opportunity to receive their initial (or second for those who have already received their first through the 28th Medical Group) dose March 19, at a point of distribution (POD) site in the base IDRC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

Beneficiaries and base personnel who have not received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines previously will have the opportunity to receive their initial (or second for those who have already received their first through the 28th Medical Group) dose March 19 at a point of distribution (POD) site in the base’s Installation Deployment Readiness Center.

The Pfizer vaccinations will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for any dependents age 16 and older, retirees, civilian employees and base personnel who want to get the vaccine.

“This is the latest step in our efforts intended to reduce health risks on base and in the community to help keep Team Ellsworth healthy and mission ready,” said Col. David Doss, the 28th Bomb Wing Commander.

Officials outlined the flow of events for the morning of the vaccinations.
* Beneficiaries are asked to proceed to the Pride Hangar parking lot for further instructions. Everyone is required to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, and practice good hygiene in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
* Individuals will receive directions and will be asked to wait until they can proceed to the IDRC.
* Once at the IDRC, individuals will enter through the front entrance and proceed to one of the check-in stations, complete their vaccination paperwork, verify their identity and then wait until a seat is open in the vaccination area.
* Once a seat is available, an immunization specialist will administer the vaccine. Individuals are required to wait at least 15 minutes after receiving their vaccine before being allowed to leave unless directed otherwise. Those who have had previous adverse reactions to vaccines may be required to wait longer to ensure their safety).

“We have utilized the POD concept to administer vaccines for others in Tier 1A, 1B, and 1C priorities in the Department of Defense’s phasing structure, and the system works very well,” said Col. Robert Corby, the 28th MDG commander. “A POD allows us to do mass distribution of medication and is a very efficient way to serve large numbers of people in a timely manner.”

Corby said he and his staff are anticipating a continuous flow of those interested in receiving the vaccine throughout the day and reminded everyone to please be patient.

“To help reduce delays and help keep everyone informed, we will post updates on the base’s social media page with the current/projected wait times,” Corby said.

Corby added that all other beneficiaries ages 75 and up (Tier 1B) and those 65-74 or 16-64 with certain high risk conditions (Tier 1C) have been notified separately and offered the vaccination at the 28th MDG in parallel with the phased vaccination of Ellsworth personnel. He noted that beneficiaries can help ensure they receive updates by verifying their DEERS contact information is current and correct. Individuals in Tier 1B and Tier 1C who did not receive notification, or who would now like to receive the vaccine, are welcome to attend the POD March 19 or can call the 28th MDG appointment line at (605) 385-6700 after March 22 to request an appointment at the base vaccination clinic.

Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including its development, possible side effects and what to expect after receiving the vaccine can be found on the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.

 

 

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