Cell managing Reserve’s COVID-19 vaccination operations
By Jaimi Chafin, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command
/ Published March 29, 2021
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air Force Reserve Command’s Vaccine Operations Cell has been up and running here since mid-January to help ensure all Reserve Citizen Airmen who choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine receive it safely, efficiently and without waste.
The VOC also ensures Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, has visibility on all Reserve vaccine orders, distributions and timing to optimize the vaccination of AFRC members.
“The VOC is working with numbered Air Forces and the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency to time shipments on a weekly basis to units to optimize vaccinations based on the population available,” said Lt. Col. Jerome Morin, deputy director of the Surgeon General’s Medical Readiness Plans and Operations Division at AFRC headquarters.
One of the cell’s goals is to ensure as little of the vaccine as possible goes to waste. Another goal is to ensure Airmen get their second dose as close to the recommended timing as possible.
As of March 22, more than 17,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen in all statuses had received the vaccine through their installation or reported having received it elsewhere.
Lt. Col. Jessica Dees, AFRC’s public health officer, encouraged all Reserve Citizen Airmen to get their vaccine.
“Individually, I believe the biggest benefit to getting vaccinated is knowing there is a high probability you will not get sick with COVID-19 or infect others who might be at a higher risk of severe complications,” she said.
Dees added that receiving the vaccine will also help ensure the Reserve is ready to meet its operational requirements.
“While we have temporarily modified our ways to safely train and exercise, there is still the risk of disease spread that could negatively affect operations,” she said. “As military members, it is our duty to be ready when we are called upon.”
She said getting vaccinated will help protect Reservists so they are ready to serve at a moment’s notice.