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624th Reserve Citizen Airmen administered COVID-19 vaccine first dose

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HI --

Medical personnel and first responders assigned to the 624th Regional Support Group received the initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 22 at Hickam Memorial Fitness Center on Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam.

In a total force effort with the 15th Medical Group and the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medics, the vaccine was administered to emergency services personnel which includes firefighters, health care providers and security forces.

Currently, all 624th RSG Reserve Citizen Airmen will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine once it becomes available based on the current prioritization schema.

Prior to receiving the vaccine, personnel are screened and are required to complete a Defense Health Agency mandated form examining their medical history.

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently administered in a two-dose series, separated by 21 days for the Pfizer BioNTech and 28 days for the Moderna vaccination.

Col. Athanasia Shinas, the 624th RSG commander, said the number one priority is protecting the health of Americans, Airmen and their families.

“Vaccination is an integral part in reducing the community spread and to slow down the rates of infection,” said Shinas. “We’ve been able to flex participation with the health protection conditions on our islands. The vaccine is the next step to combat this enemy.”

Lt. Col. David Trowbridge, 624th ASTS flight surgeon said Reserve Citizen Airmen must remain vigilant.

“We need to continue to wear masks, limit gatherings, socially distance, wash hands and take all the preventative measures we know that have a strong impact on fighting the virus and its spread,” said Trowbridge.

Master Sgt. Peter Kim, the 624th ASTS medical logistics noncommissioned officer in charge, received the COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 22.

“The vaccine will be a critical step in ensuring we help stop the pandemic,” said Kim. “I want to serve as an example for other Airmen in my unit, so they feel confident in getting the vaccine too.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently voluntary for DOD personnel, however, service members are highly encouraged to research and acquire the necessary information to make an educated decision.

A virtual town hall meeting is scheduled for the February Unit Training Assembly. The 624th RSG commander and medical personnel will be available to answer questions on the COVID-19 vaccine.