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Andersen Air Force Base receives COVID-19 Vaccine doses, begins distribution

Andersen Air Force Base receives COVID-19 Vaccine doses, begins distribution

U.S. Air Force Capt. Samuel Hunt, 36th Security Forces Squadron sustainment officer, receives a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 21, 2021. Prioritized personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

An Airman fills a shot vial

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Crystal Guevara, 36th Medical Group allergy immunization technician, fills a need with a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 21, 2021. In situations when there is good scientific reason to believe that a product is safe and is likely to treat or prevent disease, the FDA may authorize its emergency use under specific circumstances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

Airmen sit in a waiting area

Airmen from the 36th Wing sit in a waiting area after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Jan. 21, 2021. Prioritized Department of Defense personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

An Airman reads a sheet of paper

U.S. Air Force Capt. Samuel Hunt, 36th Security Forces Squadron sustainment officer, reads a checklist before receiving a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 21, 2021. In situations when there is good scientific reason to believe that a product is safe and is likely to treat or prevent disease, the FDA may authorize its emergency use under specific circumstances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

An Airmen receives a shot.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ezra Henderson, 36th Contingency Response Squadron cyber transport technician, receives a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 21, 2021. Prioritized Department of Defense personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

An Airman receives a shot.

U.S. Staff Sgt. Albert Verdadero, 36th Contingency Response Squadron unit training manager, receives a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 21, 2021. Andersen remains committed to the protecting our service members, civilians, employees and families around the globe to safeguard the Indo-Pacific and supporting the whole-of-nation response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

An airmen sanitizes an arm

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Wilson, 36th Medical Group aerospace medical technician, sanitizes the arm of U.S. Staff Sgt. Albert Verdadero, 36th Contingency Response Squadron unit training manager, before injecting him with a COVID-19 vaccination on Andersen Air Force Base, Jan. 21, 2021. Prioritized Department of Defense personnel are highly encouraged to take the vaccine to protect their health, their families, their community, and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Gu. --

To protect my family…

To protect my friends and coworkers…

To protect my freedom….

These are just a few of the reasons members of Team Andersen have chosen to get the COVID-19 vaccine since it has become available Jan. 12.

The 36th Medical Group began distribution in line with the Department of Defense’s prioritized phased approach for administering the vaccine to strengthen the DoD’s ability to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the national COVID-19 response.

“Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available,” Capt. Chawntel Vega, 36th Medical Group Public Health officer. “Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed, keeping you and others in our community healthy.”

While the vaccine maybe the strongest tool available, some are hesitant to receive it due to the pace it was created and approved. 

“The speed of the current vaccines being approved was due to the scientific advancements made over the last 10 years and not due to the cutting of corners or compromising safety,” Vega stated. “There has been complete transparency on the ingredients, and no aluminum, mercury or food allergens were utilized.  Additionally, the chance of adverse side effects are extremely low due to the fact that the currently authorized vaccines, both Moderna and Pfizer, are not a live attenuated virus vaccine.  Any side effects like fatigue, fever or headache will be short-term and easily managed.”

Due to a limited quantity of available vaccine doses in the initial shipment, the vaccine will only be available to Phase 1-A. These personnel include healthcare providers and support staff, emergency services, and public safety personnel. When the base transitions to the next personnel who are eligible will be notified.

“The vaccine is currently being distributed using a tiered approach from most infection at-risk persons to least infection at-risk persons,” explained Lt. Col. Damian Pardue, 36th Medical Group administrator. “Healthcare personnel, essential workers including service members important to national capabilities, persons with high-risk medical conditions and older adults over the age of sixty-five will be prioritized.   

“The DoD has prioritized personnel to receive the vaccine based on the CDC guidance and on the department's own COVID task force assessment of unique mission requirements. The DOD prioritization plan is consistent with CDC guidance and prioritizes health care providers and support personnel, residents and staff of DOD long term care facilities, and other essential workers and high risk beneficiaries to receive the vaccine before other members of the healthy DOD population.

DoD beneficiaries that want the vaccine are asked to be patient as more shipments are expected to arrive here in the coming weeks. For more information on the phase system click here.

“When the vaccine is available to you in the coming months, please get the vaccine,” Vega said. “The sooner we vaccinate and establish herd immunity, the sooner we can stop wearing face coverings and engage with friends and family without posing a risk to their health.”

For more information follow Andersen Air Force Base on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 and vaccination information.

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Not just a right - It's your responsibility. #Vote
Tomorrow (Jan 31st) CE Customer Service and both Andersen Family and Unaccompanied Housing Offices will be closed from 11 A.M.–4 P.M. For emergencies, please see additional information below: CE Customer Service: For any emergency issues, please call 366-2916/2917/2918. All other non-emergency issues can be sent to the CE Customer Service email org box at 36ces.service@us.af.mil. Housing Office: For any urgent Housing matters, please call 366-6240 or 653-4731. Normal operating hours will resume Monday, 3 February. Thank you, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron
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The United States, along with Mexico and the Philippines, were ranked one of the world's worst places for human trafficking in 2018. In the U.S., there is no official number of human trafficking victims, but estimates place it in the hundreds of thousands. Look for these indicators to help combat human trafficking.
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Exercise the very right you protect - your right to vote! We can help with registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot and notifying your local election officials back home of a change of address. Below is Voter Registration application, Absentee Ballot Request form (SF-76), and mailing address. This form is for Uniformed Service members, family members of voting age, DoD civilians, and citizens residing outside the United States. You may access many voting related questions and answers on the FVAP website at http://www.fvap.gov. Please click the link below to access the direct-to-voter training video which goes through the process step by step. https://www.fvap.gov/militaryhowto If you have any questions please contact your designated squadron UVAO or IVAO at DSN: 366-8137 or email: Andersen.vote@us.af.mil
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