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    Alabama National Guard administers first COVID-19 vaccines

    Alabama National Guard administers first COVID-19 vaccines

    Photo By Ken Johnson | Brig. Gen. Thomas Vickers, deputy commander, 167th Theater Support Command, receives...... read more read more

    Friday, more than 50 Alabama Army and Air National Guardsmen stood in line to receive the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations.

    The Alabama National Guard has begun administering the vaccine to Guardsmen and DoD Civilians on the pandemic's frontlines.

    Senior Alabama National Guard leadership also lined up to get their vaccine in hopes that it would instill confidence in the vaccine for all service members.

    Maj. Gen. Sheryl Gordon, Alabama National Guard adjutant general, was among the first to volunteer for the vaccine.

    "I'm glad to be able to be a part of this," she said.

    "If we are down with COVID, we can't respond to disasters or civil unrest. We must maintain our health-physical, mental, and spiritual-to ensure the health and safety of our citizens."

    The Alabama National Guard provided educational materials from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for Guardsmen and DoD Civilians to aide in their decision to volunteer for the vaccination or decline. All are encouraged to speak with a medical professional to answer any questions they may have.

    Gordon encourages members of the Alabama National Guard who are medically able to consider being vaccinated.

    "The National Guard needs to be able and ready to respond," she said.

    Gordon was given a walk through the process beforehand and has full confidence in the process and procedures that the Alabama National Guard has in place to administer the vaccine.

    The atmosphere in the drill hall-turned-immunization clinic was one of general excitement.

    "I got vaccinated because I trust the science," said Staff Sgt. David Watts, assigned to Joint Force Headquarters in Montgomery.

    "It's good that we're finally able to start getting vaccinated. I don't want to go through what a lot of people have gone through contracting the virus. I take it very seriously. I want to do what I can to prevent it."

    Guardsmen receiving the vaccine have the assurance that the Alabama National Guard has taken care to ensure every possible safety precaution for those taking the vaccine.

    Alabama National Guard medics took courses provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Health Agency specifically geared toward the coronavirus, administering of the COVID-19 vaccine, and safety protocols.

    1st Sgt. Charles Perkins of the ALNG Medical Detachment said, "This is just the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations. The mission is to work jointly between the Army and Air National Guard to administer the vaccine to all 12,000 Guardsmen."

    Those who receive the vaccination will return for a second and final vaccination in 28 days.
    2nd Lt. Whitney Hudson of the 161st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, a health care worker, said, "I have weighed the pros and cons. I trust the process. Soldiers need to get vaccinated to protect themselves because safety is our number one priority."

    Service members who have received the vaccine will still be subject to all COVID-19 command guidance and will continue to follow safety protocols, including hygiene, social distancing, and wearing masks. The Alabama National Guard will continue to administer vaccinations to both Alabama Army and Air National Guardsmen and DoD Civilians for now on a voluntary basis. For more information concerning the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.




    Date Taken: 01.07.2021
    Date Posted: 01.12.2021 17:28
    Story ID: 386796
    Location: AL, US

    Web Views: 296
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