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General sends message to Scott AFB command on vaccine safety

U.S. Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, on Thursday receives an initial dose of the Moderna-COVID-19 Vaccine, administered by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kori Rosemann, non-commissioned officer in charge, 375th Healthcare Operations Squadron, inside the 375th Medical Group Immunization Clinic at Scott Air Force Base. Lyons wanted to receive the vaccine as a way to reaffirm its safety and benefit to the USTRANSCOM community. (USTRANSCOM photo by Michelle Gigante)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE – As the Department of Defense continues its phased approach to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, the first allotment of the vaccine recently arrived here, and U.S. Transportation Command leaders received the initial shot Thursday.

U.S. Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, USTRANSCOM commander, and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason France, USTRANSCOM senior enlisted leader received the COVID-19 vaccine to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and to encourage others to get them once available.

“Chief Master Sgt. France and I received the COVID-19 vaccination to encourage everyone to fight the coronavirus by getting the vaccine once it’s available to them. It’s safe, effective, and key in protecting our force,” said Lyons.

DOD is distributing the vaccine to military installations at home and abroad to help slow the spread of the virus and ensure DOD readiness and mission assurance.

U.S. Air Force Col. John Andrus, USTRANSCOM command surgeon, said, “This is a positive step toward getting back to a more normal posture in the command.”

Andrus added that the 375th Medical Group here, which administered the vaccine shots to Lyons and France, will be following an approved tiered approach in terms of when the rest of USTRANSCOM and other units on base will individually offer the vaccine.

Information surrounding the virus and vaccine continues to evolve, and USTRANSCOM leaders have pledged to keep the force informed.

“Please keep in mind that this will not be a quick process nor a quick end to the virus, but it’s a start,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Deborah L. Kotulich, USTRANSCOM chief of staff. “I commit to all of you that information will be shared as it becomes available.”

As Lyons and France finished receiving their initial vaccine shots, to return in a month for the second, the commanding general acknowledged not only the 375th Medical Group but all those in healthcare worldwide.

“We can’t thank enough the health-care workers and everyone on the front lines of this battle — your efforts over the last year have been incredible.”




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