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Barksdale AFB administers first round of COVID-19 vaccinations

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is phase driven to safely protect Department of Defense personnel from COVID-19 as quickly as possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is phase driven to safely protect Department of Defense personnel from COVID-19 as quickly as possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

A medic from the 2nd Medical Group prepares to administer the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Barksdale is following the Department of Defense’s deliberate and phased approach to distribute and administer the vaccination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

A medic from the 2nd Medical Group prepares to administer the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Barksdale is following the Department of Defense’s deliberate and phased approach to distribute and administer the vaccination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense continues to deliver on the Acting Secretary of Defense’s priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect its people, maintain readiness and support the national COVID-19 response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense continues to deliver on the Acting Secretary of Defense’s priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect its people, maintain readiness and support the national COVID-19 response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense remains committed to protecting all service members, civilian employees, and families around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense remains committed to protecting all service members, civilian employees, and families around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

A Moderna COVID-19 vaccination sits on a table before being administered to members of the 2nd Medical Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense is dedicated to providing the latest information about the vaccines available as they are released so that DoD personnel and TRICARE beneficiaries can make informed decisions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

A Moderna COVID-19 vaccination sits on a table before being administered to members of the 2nd Medical Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Defense is dedicated to providing the latest information about the vaccines available as they are released so that DoD personnel and TRICARE beneficiaries can make informed decisions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Vaccines authorized for emergency use (EUA) are offered on a voluntary basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Vaccines authorized for emergency use (EUA) are offered on a voluntary basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Vaccination distribution prioritization within the Department of Defense will be consistent with data-driven guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 6, 2021. Vaccination distribution prioritization within the Department of Defense will be consistent with data-driven guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Graves)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Airmen from the 2nd Medical Group immunizations clinic administered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at Barksdale Air Force Base, Jan. 6, 2021.

Among the first to receive the vaccine were medical staff, those maintaining essential national security and installation functions, and beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID.

“By making sure that we vaccinate our high-risk members first, we are able to keep them well, healthy and able to care for others as we administer the vaccine going forward,” said Lt. Col. Kathryn Shaw, 2nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron commander.

Barksdale is following the Department of Defense’s plan to distribute and administer initial and future allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine in a deliberate and phased approach.

The DoD prioritization model is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which prioritizes those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential national security and installation functions, as well as beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has posed many challenges to our everyday operations,” said Tech. Sgt. Susana Esparza, 2nd Health Care Operations Squadron superintendent. “However, it is in these times that I have seen our Medical Group come together and make all aspects of our mission happen as safely and effectively as possible.”

From the point of receiving the vaccine to distributing and administering it to members of the 2nd MDG, the turnaround time was approximately 24 hours.

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.

Information will also be made available on the Barksdale website at: https://www.barksdale.af.mil/News/COVID-19-BAFB/.