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COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive at Royal Air Force Lakenheath

Dec. 30, 2020 | BY Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Plew , 48th Fighter Wing

The 48th Fighter Wing received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 27, 2020. 

A woman opens a box of vaccines.
Vaccine Delivery
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anna Murray, 48th Medical Group immunizations technician, opens the first box of COVID-19 vaccinations delivered to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 27, 2020. Initial quantities of the vaccine are limited and will be distributed on a rolling delivery basis as more vaccines become available.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte
VIRIN: 201227-F-PW483-0067H

The United States government has purchased COVID-19 vaccines and is making them available to the Defense Department for distribution and administration to DOD personnel. Initially, the vaccine will be offered under an emergency use authorization, and vaccinations will be voluntary until achieving full Food and Drug Administration approval. 

"The health of our force, families and communities always remains a top priority," said Air Force Col. Jason Camilletti, 48th Fighter Wing commander. "This vaccine is an important part of the way forward as we continue to care for the communities where we live and work."

Initial quantities of the vaccine are limited and will be distributed on a rolling delivery basis as more vaccines become available. Tri-base personnel (RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, RAF Feltwell) will be prioritized to receive the vaccine based on the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on the DOD COVID-19 Task Force's assessment of unique DOD mission requirements.  

A box of Moderna vaccines are held.
Moderna Vaccine
The 48th Fighter Wing received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 27, 2020. 48th FW personnel will be prioritized to receive the vaccine based on the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on the Defense Department COVID-19 Task Force’s assessment of unique DOD mission requirements.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte
VIRIN: 201227-F-PW483-0076C

"At the medical group, we are excited and honored to be a part of the rollout of this historic vaccination program," said Air Force Col. Thomas Stamp, 48th Medical Group commander. "We have full confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and are eager to do our part to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. Our team of experts is poised to begin vaccine administration in accordance with DOD guidelines, and we are available to answer any questions you may have regarding the vaccine."

Those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential national security and installation functions, deploying forces, and those beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19 will be among the first to receive the vaccine before other members of the installation population. The 48th FW personnel will be notified once the schedule of the COVID-19 vaccine administration has been determined.  

A man in a forklift approaches a container.
Vaccine Arrival
The 48th Fighter Wing received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 27, 2020. The U.S. government has purchased the vaccines and is making them available to the Defense Department for distribution and administration to DOD personnel.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte
VIRIN: 201227-F-PW483-0038C

"The vaccine will be made available to each of us, as detailed in DOD's priority scheme; we encourage personnel to take the vaccine as it becomes available in order to protect their health, their families, their community and lower the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic," Camilletti said.

Force health protection requirements will continue, including requirements to wear appropriate masks, physical distancing, hand washing, and restriction of movement to protect our safety as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.