Winn Army Community Hospital, in coordination with the 3rd Infantry Division, conducted a COVID-19 drive-through vaccination clinic Jan. 29 for Fort Stewart Tricare Beneficiaries identified as part of the Department of Defense Vaccine Distribution plan.
The event helped to evaluate the feasibility of offering the vaccine to a larger audience when a larger supply of vaccine becomes available. A major change from the drive-through influenza vaccine clinic, Winn ACH is partnering with 3rd ID units to use Donovan Field as the starting point for screening. Participants were provided information about the Moderna vaccine, including benefits and side effects, before they were directed to the Winn ACH overflow parking lot for the vaccine. After they received the vaccine, participants were asked to wait 15 minutes as an added safety measure in the case of an adverse reaction.
Many expressed their appreciation for the service.
“I am 65 and I feel we should do this, not only for the community, but to help the country to return to normalcy,” said Wilhelmenia Howard.
Keith Rank, a retired veteran over 65 years old, stated, “I wanted to get the vaccine to protect myself, and those I come in contact with.”
Due to limited resources, an appointment is required for the COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital is currently vaccinating in phases that include emergency responders, health care providers, deploying service members, installation critical workforce, and enrolled beneficiaries aged 65 and older who reside within 40 miles of Fort Stewart.
Eligible participants can schedule their appointment through the COVID-19 vaccine appointment line at (912) 435-6633, Option 3; which is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If an individual has questions regarding their eligibility or availability, they are encouraged to check with their unit or organization, their primary care managers, message the hospital social media platform, www.facebook.com/winncares or review information on the Winn TRICARE website at winn.tricare.mil.
“We plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine to all of our eligible beneficiaries according DoD phases. It will take some time as our vaccine supply is limited currently. We’ll be providing information as soon as it becomes available,” said U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Stewart and Winn Army Community Hospital Commander, Col. Julie Freeman.
Community members are encouraged to follow the Winn ACH Facebook site, www.facebook.com/winncares, to learn more information and learn when the various phases become open; but to continue using mitigation measures – even after taking the first vaccine – such as washing hands, wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds and maintaining a distance of about 6 feet from others.