FRANKFORT, KY. – The Kentucky National Guard has started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to its troops.About 42 Soldiers were given the Moderna vaccine on the first day, according to Col. Chris Howell, deputy commander of clinic operations for the Kentucky Guard's Medical Detachment."At this monumental time for America, and for the state, our mission right now is to attempt to vaccinate all our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen," said Howell.The vaccines will be distributed in phases as the number of service members volunteer to get inoculated. Right now, the vaccine is available to Soldiers and Airmen 18 years old or older."Once we begin giving as many vaccinations as we have available, then we will reorder for what we anticipate coming down the pike," added Howell. "If there are 300 vaccines needed, we are going to order that amount. Troops will get a PHA (periodic health assessment), and they will also get the vaccination as well if it's been asked for."The medical detachment received about 13 vials of the vaccine, which can be refrigerated for up to 30 days, from the Centers for Disease Control.Senior Guard leaders lined up to get their shots to encourage others to be vaccinated."This is what leadership does; you stand up and set the example," said Haldane B. Lamberton, Kentucky's adjutant general. "I think the sooner we all can get the vaccination, the sooner we all can get back to some level of normalcy."Lamberton said he had reservations about getting the vaccine in the first round due to how it might look to lower-ranking Soldiers and Airmen. But he decided that being one of the first to get the shot would instill confidence in the vaccine for all other service members, particularly those who are most vulnerable."It's about protecting our immediate family, and it's about protecting the other folks around us even if they aren't immediate family," said Lamberton. "Actions like this set the example, not just in our ranks for the Guard but to the rest of the commonwealth."For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC