Fort McCoy personnel receive first COVID-19 vaccinations
By Scott SturkolFebruary 11, 2021
Select civilian and military personnel at Fort McCoy began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations Jan. 26 through the Fort McCoy Occupational Health Clinic.The first vaccinations on Jan. 26 were for 10 people who included medical staff, garrison leadership, and related frontline personnel at the post. More vaccinations were given to first responders including police and fire personnel with the Directorate of Emergency Services on Jan. 28 and 29.The Occupational Health Clinic, under guidance of Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Ky., began administering the COVID-19 vaccinations after receiving an initial shipment of vaccines.Fort McCoy’s first vaccine recipient was Erica Miller, a registered nurse at clinic. She then followed by administering vaccines to others receiving the shot.“Vaccination priorities first focused on our healthcare professionals followed by the installation police and fire personnel and as well as those people who are maintaining essential security and installation emergency operations functions on post,” said Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss, who was the first Soldier to receive the vaccine on post to demonstrate his support for the product.“I have very high confidence in the vaccine,” Poss said. “Every Soldier, employee or family member at Fort McCoy is encouraged to receive the vaccine as it becomes available within the prioritization guidance to protect their health, families, and the Fort McCoy community. Many employees at Fort McCoy are looking forward to receiving the voluntary vaccine.”Distribution and availability of the vaccine will continue to grow.“As we wait for continued distribution, we still need everyone to continue practicing vigilance with the established practices of social distancing, face coverings, and handwashing,” Poss said. “Our team at Fort McCoy will continue to keep everyone informed of vaccine availability at our installation.”Military TRICARE beneficiaries from Fort McCoy assigned to TRICARE Prime Remote should be able to receive the vaccine through local civilian clinics or pharmacies when it becomes available, post officials said.According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the vaccine helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help bring the pandemic to an end.“As Americans get vaccinated over the next few months, it is important to continue to follow public health safety measures,” it states on the department website at www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/index.html. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.”COVID-19 vaccines were developed in part through the Department of Defense’s Operation Warp Speed. The first vaccines were made available in December 2020 and continue to be distributed.The Department of Defense describes Operation Warp Speed as “an unprecedented leap toward a historic breakthrough that will save countless lives. It is leveraging the best experts from the federal government and private industry to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics quickly without compromising safety.”Learn more about Operation Warp Speed at www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Operation-Warp-Speed.Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set "Fort McCoy" or another installation as your preferred base.