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Offutt Air Force base has its first week of COVID vaccine rollout

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 1:41 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The COVID vaccine rollout for the largest wing of the Air Force command is being declared a success. That wing is right here in Nebraska.

A major milestone was reached. We’re at week one of the vaccination rollout at the Offutt Air Force Base.

The base’s immunization clinic says 100% of their doses were effectively given out without any to waste.

For perspective, that’s a tall task.

“We’ve been planning for this day, said Major Elaina Wild, M.D. We knew they were going to start a program vaccine very early on.”

Still, with Major Elaina Wild and David Valentine prepping for Operation Warp Speed for weeks, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of unanswered questions.

“How do we get everybody who’s had the first dose on time for the second dose, said Major Wild. Are we going to get enough vaccines by that point in time to give those same people that dose? How do you do that?”

Moderna comes in 10 dose vials. Once it’s opened it only lasts roughly 12 hours.

So this duo from the fighting 55th had to plan meticulously, creating multiple groups from Phase 1A who were ready to receive every drop of every dose.

Major David Valentine said, “organizing and amassing everyone on the list and breaking it down to who gets it first is a major task.”

They did it!

Major Valentien tapped into his pharmaceutical background and experience with the flu vaccine rollout. He saw to it that all of the active-duty firefighters, EMS personnel, and police for their first dose to become one step closer to achieving herd immunity. Including Airman first-class Sommer Gangaway.

“It’s no different than like they say for the flu shot, said Airman Gangaway. You have some of the same symptoms. It’s really not that bad.”

Meanwhile Major Wild credits much of the success to the Base’s COVID task force. She helps oversee a team of front line workers who have been at this when testing was brand new.

Senior Airman Thomas Jobson said, “I’m constantly testing patients who come through our drive-thru clinic for months now. Just recently started the vaccination push out. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Despite stress after an efficient first round of vaccine distribution, the base is eagerly waiting for guidance about what comes next.

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