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    Mercedes native serving on USS Ronald Reagan receives COVID-19 vaccine

    USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sailors Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Quinton Lee | 210209-N-WS494-1028 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 9, 2021) Master Chief Aircraft...... read more read more

    KANAGAWA, JAPAN

    03.05.2021

    Courtesy Story

    USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)

    YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 19, 2021) – Mercedes, Texas native and La Villa High School graduate Manuel Bernal is serving on the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Sailors assigned to Ronald Reagan began receiving initial COVID-19 vaccinations at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Jan. 7. Throughout February, Ronald Reagan Sailors who received the first shot will be given their second vaccination.
    The Ronald Reagan vaccinations followed U.S. 7th Fleet’s initial vaccinations, Jan. 5, and are part of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) prioritized, phased approach for administering the vaccine to strengthen the DoD’s ability to protect its people, maintain readiness, and support a worldwide COVID-19 response for U.S. service members.
    Ronald Reagan has prioritized its crew, rolling out the vaccinations for medical personnel and strategic forces first, followed by the rest of the crew as the vaccine becomes available. While currently voluntary, the crew is encouraged to take advantage of the vaccine in order to protect friends, family, and the local on base and off base communities surrounding CFAY.
    Bernal, a Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman working in Ronald Reagan’s aircraft intermediate maintenance department, expressed why being vaccinated was important to him.
    “I chose to receive the shot to protect those most at risk of getting COVID-19,” said Bernal.
    Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer, emphasized the immediate need to develop immunity through vaccination, and how the crew can directly contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
    “There are many reasons to take advantage of the vaccine right now, to include protecting our friends and families from the scourge that has been this disease,” said Goldhammer. “We now have the advantage in the fight against this unprecedented global pandemic.”
    Capt. Merrill Rice, Ronald Reagan’s senior medical officer, explained why achieving maximum crew participation is essential to establishing command immunity and readiness.
    “While healthy and young Sailors have a better chance of fighting the illness, [COVID-19] still has the potential to cause damage to our ship and mission,” said Rice. “Now, we have something that can counter the virus and I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm in accepting this tool in our fight.”
    As members of the crew receive the vaccine, masks and physical distancing will still be necessary until the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection. Global and national public health authorities are expected to continue to recommend wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, for everyone, until pandemic risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced.
    Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. The ship returned to Yokosuka in November 2020 following a six-month deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.05.2021
    Date Posted: 03.05.2021 00:34
    Story ID: 390624
    Location: KANAGAWA, JP
    Hometown: MERCEDES, TX, US

    Web Views: 22
    Downloads: 0

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