JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Senior leaders with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, “Spartan Brigade,” received their initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.Spartan medics and physicians distributed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to key leaders and critical personnel after receiving their own initial dose two days prior. They will continue to systematically vaccinate remaining paratroopers with additional batches of the vaccine.“This is a significant milestone in protecting our paratroopers, our families and our communities against the COVID pandemic,” said Col. Chris Landers, Spartan Brigade commander. “Each paratrooper that gets the vaccine increases both our safety and our ability to accomplish our mission.”The first troops in the Spartan Brigade to receive the vaccine were medics, physicians, key leaders and other designated volunteers that would likely deploy first in an emergency. The brigade is using this phased approach for vaccinations to maintain a high level of readiness while protecting paratroopers, their families and the local community.Vaccinations will continue in phases until vaccine manufacturing and distribution allows for full-scale, unrestricted distribution similar to the annual Department of Defense’s influenza vaccine program.The first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived on JBER Dec. 31, 2020.All Soldiers, even those who have been vaccinated, will continue to follow current safety measures and will wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands and restrict movement in accordance with COVID-19 safety mitigations.Related Worldwide NewsU.S. Army COVID-19 GuidancePfizer, Moderna produce COVID-19 vaccine