920th ASTS continues distribution of COVID-19 vaccination

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt Kelly Goonan
  • 920th Rescue Wing

The 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron continues distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to 920th Rescue Wing members during monthly training assemblies here to assist in reducing the amount of COVID-19 related cases and maintain the health of its Airmen.

The 920th ASTS stands-up a point of dispensing (POD) every drill weekend within the 45th Medical Group facility on Patrick Space Force Base to distribute the vaccine.

“When members arrive, they are checked in and verified that they are on the roster to receive the vaccine,” a 920th ASTS Airmen explained. “If they’re not on the roster, and there is availability, they will be added on-the-spot to ensure no vaccine is wasted. Each vial of the vaccination contains 10 doses which must be used within two hours after opening.”

The design of the POD is to vaccinate individuals in the most efficient way possible. Keeping personnel safe during the process as they are informed of possible side effects and other information regarding the vaccine.

Once checked in, the member’s vaccine screening form will be reviewed and verified to ensure the member wants to receive the vaccine and has no exclusion criteria that would prevent them from receiving it. After the vaccine is given, the member is required to remain in the waiting area between 15 and 30 minutes to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction post vaccine. Medical personnel including providers, nurses, and technicians are on standby to provide care in the event of an adverse reaction. 

“Each time a POD is scheduled, we see anywhere between 80 to 200 personnel,” he explained. “Some PODS are for first dose or second dose only and others are both which can be a significant number of people. We try to schedule 20 members every 20 minutes so we can see up to 60 people per hour.”

The 114th Air National Guard and the 45th Medical Group have been assisting the 920th with vaccinations as well.

“The combined efforts of our ASTS, the 114th and the 45th is especially helpful when members receive a last minute deployment tasking or temporary duty assignments that hinders the member from attending their appointments,” the ASTS Staff Sgt. said. “This allows flexibility and better access to our members who want to receive the vaccine on time.”

The 920th ASTS is comprised of personnel with a wide variety of medical Air Force Specialty Codes. The squadron provides medical support for the entire 920th Rescue Wing, ensuring oversight of individual health and medical readiness.