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COVID-19 vaccinations begin for U.K. tri-base community

The 48th Medical Group conducted its first inoculations of healthcare workers with the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. Initial vaccines will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process, and will be used to plan an expanded distribution phase, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department-wide phased vaccination approach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

The 48th Medical Group conducted its first inoculations of healthcare workers with the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. Initial vaccines will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process, and will be used to plan an expanded distribution phase, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department-wide phased vaccination approach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Technical Sgt. Justin Pribble, 48th Medical Group pediatrics/immunology flight chief, draws a sample of the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. Pribble was the technician responsible for administering the first COVID-19 vaccines at the 48th Fighter Wing.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Technical Sgt. Justin Pribble, 48th Medical Group pediatrics/immunology flight chief, draws a sample of the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. Pribble was the technician responsible for administering the first COVID-19 vaccines at the 48th Fighter Wing.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Technical Sgt. Justin Pribble, 48th Medical Group pediatrics/immunology flight chief, administers the first COVID-19 vaccine to Capt. Branden Hunsaker, 48th Medical Group emergency physician, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. The initial shipment of vaccines will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders. As the distribution is carried out, information on subsequent phases will be provided through command channels and installation web and social media channels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Technical Sgt. Justin Pribble, 48th Medical Group pediatrics/immunology flight chief, administers the first COVID-19 vaccine to Capt. Branden Hunsaker, 48th Medical Group emergency physician, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. The initial shipment of vaccines will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders. As the distribution is carried out, information on subsequent phases will be provided through command channels and installation web and social media channels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

An Airman assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing Medical Group receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec.29, 2020. Initial vaccinations will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process and will be used to plan an expanded distribution phase, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department wide phased vaccination approach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

An Airman assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing Medical Group receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec.29, 2020. Initial vaccinations will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process, and will be used to plan an expanded distribution phase, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department-wide phased vaccination approach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Airman 1st Class Connor Sams, 48th Medical Group technician, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec.29, 2020. The arrival of the vaccine paves the way for a phased vaccine distribution plan to protect our communities against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Airman 1st Class Connor Sams, 48th Medical Group technician, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec.29, 2020. The arrival of the vaccine paves the way for a phased vaccine distribution plan to protect our communities against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)

Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England --

The 48th Medical Group conducted its first inoculations of healthcare workers with the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 29, 2020.

The arrival of the vaccine paves the way for a phased vaccine distribution plan to protect our communities against COVID-19.

Initial vaccinations will be limited to healthcare workers and first responders to assess the process and will be used to plan an expanded distribution phase, where each service will request and administer the vaccine through a Defense Department wide phased vaccination approach.

“The health of our force, families, and communities always remains a top priority,” said Col. Jason Camilletti, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “This vaccine is an important part of the way forward as we continue to care for the communities where we live and work.”

Each phase of the vaccine distribution process is designed to safely protect DoD personnel from COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

“At the Medical Group, we are excited and honored to be a part of the rollout of this historic vaccination program,” said Col. Thomas Stamp, 48th Medical Group commander. “We have full confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and are eager to do our part to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.”

As the distribution is carried out, information on the timeline of subsequent phases will be provided through command channels and through installation web and social media platforms.

Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use approval, the vaccine is voluntary but recommended by the military.

All DoD personnel will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands, follow restriction of movement and adhere to host nation restrictions for the safety of their communities, as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish.

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