Command Sgt. Major Christopher Prosser receives his booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the hands of Specialist Anna Hatchett, a medic assigned to the McAfee U.S. Army Health Clinic at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Photo by Chuck Roberts)
The second round of administering COVID-19 vaccinations got underway Jan. 28, 2021, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Vaccinations are being administered in phases according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense Population Prioritization Schema. The latest phase includes frontline essential workers, personnel preparing to deploy to locations outside the United States, and authorized persons 75 years and older identified by their Military Treatment Facility.
The vaccination event at the WSMR Post Theater was also an opportunity to receive the follow-up shot for those inoculated during the first day of shots given on Jan. 7, 2021, at WSMR to medical professionals, first responders and key personnel. That included WSMR Command Sgt. Major Christopher Prosser who expressed his continued support for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We are extremely fortunate to receive this vaccine at WSMR. It is going to help us accomplish our mission and kill the virus. While it is optional right now, I encourage all to receive it to protect our workforce, families, friends, and most of all, our integral role in National security," said Prosser after receiving his booster shot at the Post Theater where vaccinations are now being given as the scope of the operation begins to scale up at WSMR.
That encouragement is echoed by Lt. Col. Aaron Braxton II, Commander of the McAfee U.S. Army Health Clinic which is now solely responsible for the vaccination program at WSMR after initially implementing it as a joint effort with William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas.
"It is truly an honor to lead this extremely talented team of healthcare professionals at McAfee while taking care of the WSMR workforce and beneficiaries during this pandemic," said Braxton. "Our healthcare heroes have been and continue to be trusted voices for healthcare within the WSMR community. We must remain vigilant and focused on prevention. Furthermore, we appreciate everyone doing their part in protecting our invaluable community by wearing a mask, watching your distancing, and washing your hands or hand sanitizing regularly."
According to the CDC, 24,652,634 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of Jan. 27. President Biden announced a plan on Jan. 26 to increase weekly vaccine supply to states, Tribes and territories from 8.6 million doses to 10 million doses, according to a White House news release. Both vaccines currently being provided in the United States have been found to be more than 90 percent effective in clinical trials.
The Department of Defense's Population Schema will be followed in prioritizing who gets the vaccine and when. Public announcements will be made when the next phase population can receive the vaccine. Please contact your provider if you have health concerns or questions about the vaccine.