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    Fort Bliss administers COVID-19 vaccinations

    Fort Bliss administers COVID-19 vaccinations

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jesse Anderla | Fort Bliss, Texas – Andrea Carlos, a resident nurse from William Beaumont Army...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jesse Anderla 

    24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    Fort Bliss administers COVID-19 vaccinations

    By Staff Sgt. Jesse Anderla
    24TH Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    Fort Bliss, Texas – For the past month-and-a-half, Soldiers, retirees and DOD civilians have lined up outside Stayton Theater to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

    “What we are doing here is administering the vaccine to active duty Soldiers, beneficiaries, DOD teachers, healthcare workers and first responders,” said COVID vaccine Officer in Charge, Capt. Shai Zilka, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. “The reason we are doing this is because we are trying to protect the force and our beneficiaries from the COVID virus.”

    Over one hundred personnel received their first or second series of shots in an effort to vaccinate the necessary seventy-five to eighty percent necessary to achieve community immunity according to Zilka.

    “In my opinion, by the end of the summer we will be very close to achieving the community immunity number,” said Zilka. “We need to be able to fight and battle this virus as best we can. This vaccine is going to give us an opportunity to actually get on the offense and start going back to a normal life, whatever that may be in the future.”

    Zilka says when they conducted the study, they found after people received the second shot it had up to a ninety-five percent effective rate.

    “Now granted you still can get it, but you may have lesser symptoms or you may not even know that you got COVID,” he said. “I think the thing is to trust the science. There is excellent data that supports how this vaccine will mitigate the risk from receiving COVID.”

    Others received the shot to lead the way for their Soldiers that may have doubts about the vaccine.

    “I don’t want to get COVID and I can’t be hypocritical,” said 2nd Lt. Kameron Warlitner, medical officer of 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. “I am a medical officer and in charge of medics and if I expect them to get it and possibly administer it then I can’t sit back and not get it.”

    He says to do your research and make informed decisions.

    “It is just for the safety of others. I think there is a lot of misinformation out there and if you just look at the research and trust the professionals you will realize that it’s no different than any other vaccine,” he said. “Yeah, it is pretty quick and this is not ideal for anybody, but sometimes in drastic situations we need drastic measures to solve them.”

    The COVID vaccine took around a year to be developed and many have their doubts about its effectiveness. Warlitner urges those that have their doubts to speak with a professional to learn as much as you can on the vaccine.

    “We are all adults, we can make an informed decision. Don’t believe what you see on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Just be informed, do accurate research and trust the professionals because they wouldn’t have that job title if they didn’t know what they were doing,” he said. “If you trust education, but you don’t trust the results of research and education, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

    The El Paso area currently has one of the highest rates of contraction of the virus in the country.

    “We need the people that are protecting our country to be vaccinated. It is important for them to be able to fight and also be protected,” said Bryana Porras, a resident nurse at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. “I think it is great that we are having them come through and also for our elderly, retired group. We have a large population of elderly people in El Paso and the fact that they get to come here and get their vaccines and they are so grateful makes me grateful too.”

    Porras says it is a chance to do something good for the community while also getting a chance to see people you may not have had a chance to spend time with during the past year of lockdowns and quarantine.

    “There is no interaction with other people and that is what you need to get by. Coming here is everyone’s chance to get their vaccine and talk to people that they haven’t been able to see in so long,” she said. “It’s enjoyable for me and I know it is enjoyable for them. They know that we are here making a difference.”

    To get the vaccine, go to the William Beaumont website and make an appointment. You can receive your vaccine at Stayton Theater by appointment every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.



    Date Taken: 02.05.2021
    Date Posted: 02.24.2021 17:25
    Story ID: 389751
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 224
    Downloads: 0