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434th ARW rolls out COVID vaccine

Col. (Dr.) Bill Bray, 434th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight surgeon, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., Feb. 1, 2021. Bray was the first member at Grissom to receive the vaccine through the 434th AMDS clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ben Mota)

Col. (Dr.) Bill Bray, 434th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight surgeon, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., Feb. 1, 2021. Bray was the first member at Grissom to receive the vaccine through the 434th AMDS clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ben Mota)

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. --

Throughout the COVID pandemic, the 434th Air Refueling Wing relied heavily on innovation to keep the mission going, but a recent shipment of vaccine will put a more traditional solution to work.

Grissom recently received 400 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and began the distribution process Feb. 1, 2021, in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines.

The 434th ARW vaccine distribution followed a phased approach, with initial doses offered on a volunteer basis to first responders and mission-essential personnel.

Leading the charge, Col. (Dr.) Bill Bray, 434th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight surgeon, raised his hand to become the first person to receive the vaccine through the 434th AMDS clinic.

“It’s important to set the example to show our Airmen the vaccine is safe,” said Bray. “This vaccine is a critical step in stopping the pandemic and ensuring we are capable of carrying out the mission in the future.”

During the vaccine distribution, 434th AMDS had trained staff on hand in the event of an adverse reaction from the vaccine.

“We are having members wait 20 minutes after being given the vaccine to ensure there are not any negative reactions,” said Bray. “These are the same precautions as we have during any type of vaccination process here on base.”

The 434th ARW will continue to provide vaccinations according to the guidelines set by the DOD.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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