SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 310th Space Wing received their first Air Force Reserve Command-provided COVID-19 vaccination injections here March 10.
Those who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were determined eligible based on the DOD vaccine prioritization schema, which focuses on vaccinating members in career fields that are critical to national capabilities.
“We had a great showing of space professionals who opted-in for our first round of AFRC provided vaccinations,” said Col. Shariful Khan, the 310th Space Wing commander, who was among those to receive the vaccine.
“Chief Moncalieri (310th SW command chief) and I appreciate the leadership and willingness [of these members] to do their part to help ensure readiness throughout our organization,” said Khan. “Broad adoption of the vaccine is the fastest way to get back to our pre-COVID way of life, so I personally wanted to do my part as well.”
With its current manning, 310th Aerospace Medicine Flight is only able to administer about 10 injections per hour. To bolster that capacity, they are partnering with the 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and plan to deliver 200 vaccines during the April Unit Training Assembly.
“The Moderna vaccine requires two doses,” said Maj. Rachel Langley, a physician and 310th AMDF flight surgeon. “The first shot doesn’t have any side effects other than soreness on the injection site. The second shot does sometimes cause muscle soreness and headaches, so keep that in mind when scheduling your shot.”
Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for Air Force Reservists?
A: The vaccine is strongly encouraged for the health of our Air Force Reserve Forces, however it is not yet mandatory. Reservists are strongly encouraged to get the COVID vaccination. Reservists and beneficiaries will be eligible for the COVID vaccine based on the approved Phase/Tier prioritization. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently listed in all military members IMR profiles; however, it is not yet mandatory. For full details on the COVID-19 vaccine approval process and distribution plan for the
Q: If a person receives the vaccine from civilian provider (i.e. medical, first responder, etc.) what documentation do they need to bring in to certify receiving the vaccine?
A: For members who get vaccinated off base, follow service policy guidance for recording the vaccine in your shot record; standard documentation (vaccine name or code, date received, series (dose 1 or 2), manufacturer & LOT number) should be provided to the MTF/RMU for capturing the vaccination in ASIMS.
Q: Why should I get the vaccine?
A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic. It may be an effective way to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19, and it may help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do catch the virus. Getting vaccinated also protects the health of the people around you—especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Q: When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available to Reserve Citizen Airmen?
A: Many of our Reserve units have received initial distribution of the vaccine/ The Air Force Reserve Command Surgeon General’s office continues to work with the Department of the Air Force Surgeon General’s office to ensure Reserve Citizen Airmen are equally included in the DoD phased approach to vaccination. These prioritization efforts to maximize the limited initial vaccine supplies are a readiness concern for AFR leadership.
Q: How will the vaccine be prioritized among service members?
A: The Department of Defense officials working in conjunction with the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combatant Commanders and service secretaries are developing a prioritization list in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure department readiness while taking care of individual service members.
Q: Will vaccines for Reservists on active duty on Air Force Reserve host installations be ordered by the active duty vaccine coordinator at the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency (AFMRA)?
A: Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) Reservists and Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs) will have their vaccine ordered by the active duty vaccine coordinator since they are accounted for on the active duty Unit Manning Document (UMD).
Q: What happens to members who have vaccination reactions (flu-like symptoms or other) that are severe enough to prevent them from returning to their civilian places of employment following the Unit Training Assembly or their IMA drill period?
A: We treat traditional reservists (TR's) and Individual Reservists (IRs/IMAs) who have adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination no different than someone who gets sick/injured during a drill period. Reservists may go on voluntary medical convalescent (MEDCON) orders if necessary. If the member accepts MEDCON orders, unit may initiate a line of duty (LOD) determination.
Editors note, Questions and answers were sourced from the Centers for Disease Control website.