William Beaumont Army Medical Center medical professionals and first responders received the first round of vaccinations of the Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 2 at Stayton Theater on Fort Bliss.
The vaccines are offered in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DoD phased approached. The first phase includes vaccinating all healthcare providers, healthcare support personnel, and emergency services professionals.
Upon receiving the first dose, vaccine recipients were given a CDC vaccination record card.
"I've been waiting for a long time to get vaccinated and I want get back to normal life and this is one of the ways," said James Baker, a WBAMC healthcare information technology specialist.
After receiving the vaccine, military and civilian personnel must continue to follow the CDC guidelines such as social-distancing, wearing masks, and frequently washing their hands.
According to the CDC while in transport, the vaccines temperature must stay between minus-15 and minus-25 degrees Celsius at all times. The vaccine requires rigorous temperature management.
“I’m a healthcare provider, and it’s my responsibility for maintaining my health because I go home to my husband and grandchildren and although many people are skeptical about getting the vaccine, I feel great about it,” said Leticia Osteika, registered nurse, WBAMC.
On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older.
Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase 3 clinical trials and have been manufactured and distributed safely and securely.
“I think everybody should get it.I think it's great. I'm so happy that it came about so quickly and I'm excited about it,” said Baker.
The vaccines will be administered in a two-dose series. The WBAMC vaccinations team will continue to provide the vaccine in accordance with the DOD’s Population Schema and make public announcements when the next phase can begin.
“Being the first on Ft. Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center to receive the COVID vaccine was an honor and a blessing. I did three tours at Ft. Bliss during my active duty in the Army, and now I work at the hospital as a civilian supporting the excellent doctors and nurses that take care of our troops,” said Baker.