FORT CARSON, Colo. — As the Mountain Post population has begun receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the installation's dedicated vaccination center, Fort Carson Army medical leaders hosted a vaccine virtual town hall update from Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH) Feb. 9, 2021.Col. Kevin Bass, EACH commander, joined Lt. Col. Jason Ferguson and Dr. Erika Overbeek-Wager to inform community members on a number of topics related to the vaccine during the update, from which community members are eligible to receive the vaccine now, to the procedures for making appointments and what people can expect to see once they arrive at the post’s vaccination site.Ferguson and Overbeek-Wager, both family medicine physicians at EACH, said the virtual town hall was intended to answer the most pressing questions for people preparing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the near future or even months from now, depending on their eligibility.“Our goal is to make sure everyone has the right information to make the best health care choices needed for themselves and their family members,” Ferguson said. “So, we’ll continue to host forums like this to provide the answers and keep our community updated.”Fort Carson medical professionals are currently administering vaccinations at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center (SEC) near the intersection of Specker Avenue and Prussman Boulevard. Leadership from U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; 627th Hospital Center; 4th Infantry Division; and EACH worked together to stand up the dedicated Fort Carson COVID-19 vaccination site. The spacious facility is normally used to host special events like expos and community fairs and can accommodate hundreds of vaccinations each day.High risk beneficiaries and those 65 and over or in essential worker status can schedule appointments now by calling 526-2273.“That will take you to a series of menu options, from which, people should choose option 1. That will allow callers to speak with a representative who will help them schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine,” Overbeek-Wager said.Beneficiaries who meet Colorado eligibility criteria are able to receive the vaccine off post,” she said. “As of Feb. 8, 2021, any adult age 65 through 74 is now eligible to receive the vaccine through the local community. Also, any educator or staff working in a K-12 school is eligible to receive the vaccine, and any licensed day care provider who is working in a licensed facility is also now eligible.”To check your eligibility status and where the COVID-19 vaccine may be available in your local community, check out covid19.colorado.gov. Keep in mind that the website is dedicated to the Colorado vaccine distribution planFerguson then explained that Fort Carson’s only COVID-19 vaccination site is located at the SEC. Vaccinations will no longer be administered at EACH.“This was a joint effort between the 4th Infantry Division, the Directorate of (Family and) Morale, Welfare and Recreation and our partners at the 627th Hospital Center,” he said. “The bottom line was we needed a dedicated space and ample space to vaccinate large groups of Soldiers and beneficiaries efficiently. The SEC has allowed us to do that. We have transferred all of our vaccinations from EACH over to the SEC along with all of our assets, personnel and physicians to answer people’s questions. It (the operation) has really gone pretty smoothly over these last couple of weeks. We can actually move hundreds of people through per day with an average wait time of about 30 minutes.“For our Soldiers and commanders in the audience, we want you to stay tuned with our medical personnel and higher headquarters as we move from vaccinating our deploying personnel and get into our general population of Soldiers here. We will be working closely with the 4th Inf. Div. and division staff as far as a schedule to ensure everyone is vaccinated in a timely and efficient manner.”The doctors said some community members have asked about adverse reactions to the vaccine, and that’s one reason physicians have been on scene at the SEC.“The response to the vaccine is individualized — it really depends on the person,” said Overbeek-Wager. “Some people have zero symptoms while others have fevers and chills and body aches after the second dose but, almost all of these symptoms resolve within the first 24 to 72 hours. These are normal, expected side effects from receiving a vaccine.”She then assured those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that the vaccine not be withheld from pregnant women.“Unfortunately, there has been a misinformation campaign out there that suggested the vaccine might cause sterility or infertility,” she said. “Looking back at the misinformation campaign, it was not based on science and there is really no research or data that suggests that. As a family medicine doctor, I would recommend that each individual who is currently pregnant or plans on becoming pregnant has a conversation with their physician to discuss what the best option is for themselves and their future baby.”