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    102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Feb 12, 2021 - Massachusetts military forces join together to administer vaccine

    102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Feb 12, 2021 - Massachusetts military forces join together to administer vaccine

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    Audio by Timothy Sandland 

    102nd Intelligence Wing   

    Massachusetts Air National Guard Airmen of the 102nd Medical Group, supplemented by Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers and members of the Massachusetts Organized Militia (MAOM), came together to perform a first-run of the COVID-19 immunization process at Otis Air National Guard Base, on Jan. 28.

    The initial doses of the vaccine were administered to wing leadership – the first of two, which will protect Airmen from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will be delivered in a phased approach – priority will begin with emergency services personnel, security forces, and medical and health care professionals.

    Continuing, groups will be prioritized based on exposure risk and health factors.

    “We are very fortunate to be able to start the process to vaccinate personnel assigned to JBCC,” said Col. Sean Riley, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander.

    “This is truly a joint effort, the vaccination team includes both Army and Air Guardsmen and even some retired members of the guard that volunteered to come back on State Active Duty.”

    The vaccine will initially be offered under an Emergency Use Authorization, and vaccinations will be voluntary until achieving full FDA approval. Initial quantities of the vaccine are limited and will be distributed as additional supply becomes available.

    The vaccination plan is focused on personnel providing direct medical care, emergency services and public safety. This is followed by those providing essential installation functions and deploying forces who volunteer for inoculation according to the DoD’s phased prioritization approach.

    Personnel currently receiving the vaccine are first responders such as healthcare workers, security forces, and other personnel with the highest risk for exposure. The vaccine will also be offered to personnel who will be deploying in the near future.

    As each phase of the vaccination plan is complete, the plan will expand.

    In addition to the Airmen and Soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Girard and Master Sgt. Frank Noonan of the Massachusetts Organized Militia were on hand, assisting with the immunization process.

    The MAOM assists the United States National Guard forces, assumes state missions when the National Guard is deployed, provides emergency support during disasters and assists in color guards and funeral details.

    “We are men and women who have retired and spent at least 20 years in the military, of which the last 5 years had to be in the Mass. National Guard,” said Chief Girard.

    With uniforms virtually identical to their National Guard comrades, these retired Soldiers were identified by the distinctive ‘Massachusetts’ tape where ‘U. S. Army’ would normally be seen as well as a round shoulder patch depicting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    “When the [pandemic] first hit, we were asked to come back,” said Chief Girard. “We come in when asked and it’s purely voluntary,”

    The dedication and professionalism shown by these militia members is evidence of their years of service and experience – the militia allows them an opportunity to continue that service.

    The participation from all parts of the Massachusetts military machine make one point abundantly clear – the importance of this mission to vaccinate the troops is paramount. Ensuring our service members are protected will guarantee continued support of operations such as Task Force Raptor, where more than 180 Soldiers and Airmen who possessed civilian medical training were called up to serve and join the commonwealth’s fight against COVID-19 early last year.

    Millions have received COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive monitoring in U.S. history to make sure that the vaccines are safe.

    “These vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards,” said Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Thomas, 102 MDG superintendent. “There were no serious safety concerns.”

    While some people don’t have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, many will have mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, like pain or swelling at the injection site, a headache, chills, or fever.

    These reactions are normal and show the vaccine is working.

    “For me getting the vaccine as soon as I could was an easy decision,” said Col. Riley, “The more vaccines we are able to administer will keep our people protected, increasing our readiness and ensure we can support any state or federal mission taskings we receive.”

    Wing personnel should expect to receive notifications from their chain of command as more shipments of the vaccine are received based on their priority in the phased vaccination plan.

    Although immunizations are underway, it is important that everyone continues to wear masks, maintain personal hygiene and practice social distancing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID precautions will still be necessary until a large portion of the population is vaccinated and the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection.

    The combination of COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others offers the best protection from COVID-19.


    Date Taken: 02.12.2021
    Date Posted: 02.12.2021 08:52
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 65306
    Filename: 2102/DOD_108184226.mp3
    Length: 00:06:04

    Web Views: 18
    Downloads: 1
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