MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
The 5th Medical Group at Minot Air Force Base will receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with intentions to distribute the vaccine on a volunteer basis. Local prioritization follows the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Defense guidance. First priorities will be given to those healthcare personnel, emergency services and public safety personnel (Fire Department and Security Forces). The next priorities are maintaining essential national security and installation functions, those being deployed, and individuals at the highest risk of developing a severe illness from COVID-19 during the initial distribution phase.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the implementation of the vaccine after careful and rigorous testing and trials to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Those who have been previously diagnosed with COVID are still encouraged to receive the vaccine. With the duration of immunity after having been infected being unknown, it may serve to protect those previously infected as well.
“We strongly encourage all members and families to consider taking the vaccine. This will protect the individual, community and country. The vaccine is safe and effective based on all research conducted so far,” said Col. Lisa Bader, 5th Medical Group commander.
In order to continue the mitigation of potential COVID spread, the use of cloth face coverings, physical distancing and restriction of movement will continue. Despite the roll-out of the vaccine, the risks will still be present. This is in part because of initial availability of the vaccine for all those who may choose to receive it. The need to stay diligent with mitigation measures will be in place until there is a substantial reduction in risk of spread of COVID and to maintain the safety of all personnel, their dependents and the community as a whole.
“The expected roll-out of the vaccine will begin this week [week of 4 Jan] and will be the next step in reducing the public health risk to our community,” said Bader.
To keep track of the specific vaccine someone may receive, all vaccine recipients will be provided a copy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Early vaccines will be given in two doses separated by 21 or 28 days, depending on the specific vaccine received. To ensure the efficacy of the vaccine, ask if you need to make an appointment for the second dose at the time of the initial dose.
For more information on the availability of the vaccine for you and your family, please contact your chain of command for the most updated information. For information on the vaccine received by Minot AFB, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html