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    Game-Changing Mission Readiness: Ford Administers COVID-19 Vaccine to 1,600 Sailors


    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jackson Adkins | Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Joseph Casassa, from Naples, Florida, assigned to USS...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Jackson Adkins  

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)         

    Game-Changing Mission Readiness: Ford Administers COVID-19 Vaccine to 1,600 Sailors
    By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jackson Adkins
    USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs
    NORFOLK, Va. — USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) vaccinated 1,624 Sailors during a COVID-19 vaccine shot exercise SHOTEX in Ford’s hangar bay, May 4–6. The department of defense encourages all DoD personnel to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with COVID-19 pandemic.
    “The mission of the shot-ex was to vaccinate as many of ship’s company as we could,” said Cmdr. Randy Connolly, Ford’s senior medical officer. “And, do it as close to ‘home’ as we can in order to make it as convenient as possible while doing everything in our power to protect the crew from the virus.”
    For the SHOTEX, the hangar bay was cordoned off and divided into four sections in order to receive, screen and ultimately vaccinate the crew safely and efficiently. Operations department took care of the scheduling and setup, while medical personnel handled the forms and syringes.
    Sailors had the choice to get their vaccine off-ship, on-ship or even decline. Many who received their first dose off-ship opted to take the opportunity to receive their second dose on board, while many who initially declined decided to take their first immunization dose. During the 3-day evolution, medical department administered 1,624 doses of the vaccine, to include 986 Sailors who received their first dose and 638 who received their second dose.
    “It took less than 30 minutes from getting in line to getting my vaccine,” said Retail Specialist Seaman James Davis, from Sacramento, California. “It [the evolution] was well organized, which made it convenient and I was happy to be able to do my part to put a stop to this pandemic so we can all be healthy and return to our normal lives.”
    The SHOTEX was authorized by Ford’s Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Lanzillota and approved by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. Hospital Corpsmen from the medical and dental departments, along with Sailors from operations and security departments, played a major role in making the event possible.
    “From 0600 (6 a.m.) until everyone who volunteered received their dose, every corpsman helped play a role in making the SHOTEX possible,” said Hospital Corpsman Jessica Montalvo, from Miami, assigned to Ford’s medical department. “We worked some long hours, but it was completely worth it to get our shipmates their vaccines.
    “Our goal was to make it as easy, quick and inviting for the crew to get vaccinated, while maintaining safety and sanitation,” added Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Phillip Jean-Giles, from Miami, medical department’s leading chief petty officer. “I am proud of our corpsmen for their hard work and professionalism, and grateful for the excellent teamwork and coordination between departments. I believe we met every goal we set for the ship and our personnel will be safer for it.”
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the vaccine is very effective at preventing people from getting sick and fully vaccinated people can go back to doing some of the things they stopped doing due to the virus. Connolly said he believes the SHOTEX is going to greatly enhance Ford’s mission readiness leading up to Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).
    “This SHOTEX is going to be a game changer,” said Connolly. “It is going to decrease the number of cases as well as close contacts on board, and there will be a dramatic increase in the availability of Ford’s workforce, which will be instrumental in our successful execution of shock trials.”
    Ford’s Sailors received the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses to be fully vaccinated and an additional 14 days to be fully immunized. Medical is planning for a second shot-ex later this month to immunize those that received their first dose during this SHOTEX or to administer the first dose to crew members interested in receiving the vaccine.
    To learn about the latest COVID-19 policies, leadership messages, and guidance on how to protect yourself, your family, and your shipmates visit Https://Www.Navy.Mil/Us-Navy-Covid-19-Updates/. For more resources, military personnel may be inclined to utilize, while civilian personnel should use
    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is in port Naval Station Norfolk preparing for FSST.
    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit



    Date Taken: 05.06.2021
    Date Posted: 05.13.2021 10:20
    Story ID: 396294
    Location: US

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