JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HI, UNITED STATES
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 624th Regional Support Group received their first part of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 7, 2021. The vaccine was administered and monitored for side effects by members of the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron along with the cooperation of the 15th Wing.
“We are thankful to our hosts, the 15th Wing, for sharing their doses in order to vaccinate our Reserve Citizen Airmen,” said Col. Athanasia Shinas, 624th RSG Commander. “We work side by side with our active-duty counterparts in COVID testing, contact tracing, and vaccination efforts now it’s great to see more of our Pacific Warriors get access to the vaccine. We look forward to helping our base and our community turn the corner on the pandemic.”
For over a year now, the pandemic has taken its toll on society. From the actual contraction of the virus to the passing of loved ones, social distancing, everyone has been affected in one way or another. More specifically, the 624th RSG (as with other reserve units) has adopted a hybrid fashion for the health and safety of military members, civilians, and their families.
The release of the vaccine has given the 624th ASTS Chief of Aerospace Medicine, Lt. Col. David Trowbridge, high hopes that society can resume life as it was before COVID-19.
“With society becoming fully vaccinated we can start to see people getting back to normal through mask removal, congregating in groups, and even hugging,” said Trowbridge. “My hope is to see the vaccine becoming an effective means to decrease transmission and put the nails in this COVID-19 coffin.
Trowbridge also expressed his excitement at the possibility of ending the pandemic.
“I look with growing optimism at what we’re doing here,” said Trowbridge. “By adhering to the CDC guidelines and remaining vigilant, we were able to meet this head-on. I hope that soon we will be able to get together on a UTA and reach 100% accountability again.”
Even with the growing confidence, some members still had reservations about receiving the vaccine but were reassured by providers.
“At first I was on the fence about (the vaccine), but after seeing others getting and talking with the doctors I was encouraged to get it,” said Senior Airman Rachel Dizon, a Personnel Apprentice for the 624th Force Support Flight. Honestly, I feel good and it’s like any other shot that we typically get.”
Senior leadership also gave their support after receiving their vaccine.
“It’s the right thing to do for your family and community,” said Chief Master Sgt. James Kenwolf, 48th Aerial Port Squadron First Sergeant. “Receiving the vaccine gives me a sense of normalcy, peace of mind, and the confidence that I’m protecting my family.”
During the UTA the 624th ASTS administered 37 vaccines to both military members, civilians, and their families which helped to instill confidence and hope for the future when it comes to dealing with COVID-19.
Originally published at https://www.dvidshub.net.