Fort Lee begins Phase1b of COVID-19 vaccination program: ‘an opportunity to start to fight back’

Military

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– Soldiers at Fort Lee are starting to get their second round of COVID-19 vaccines this week. Fort Lee has entered Phase 1b or ‘Phase 1 Bravo’ in the vaccination process.

The United States Army post is now administering the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for anyone 18 and older. The post has received help with their vaccine rollout from Kenner Army Health Clinic providers.

Fort Lee’s Phase 1b includes essential personnel, senior leaders, teachers, food handlers, strategic and nuclear deterrence forces, homeland defense forces, among a list of other essential workers.

Network Enterprise Director William Hardy told 8News, he got the vaccine to ensure his team that it is safe and to encourage them to follow his lead.

“Hopefully the vaccine at least in the near term will protect our force, enable us to continue to accomplish our mission in protecting this country and protect the trainees here at Fort Lee that are an important part of the feeder program for our forces that are overseas in warzones,” said Hardy.

The Clark Fitness Center is one of three gyms on post. It’s being used as a COVID-19 vaccination site for 120 days.

According to Fort Lee’s COVID Vaccination Site Medical Director Taha Haque, there have been many participants and there has been a great turnout.

“My job is to ensure you have all the right information to make the best decision for you,” said Haque.

According to Haque, there’s a huge coordinating effort to make sure they’re getting the right people in. Leadership identifies the right candidates before they are administered a vaccine. At check-in, personnel fill out medical forms, then wait on bleachers until they’re called over to an immunization station. Once they receive their COVID-19 shot, they head over to the observation station, where officials monitor them for any adverse reactions. They are issued a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) card which includes their vaccination record, the lot number and states the date they received the vaccine.

“Having the vaccine available to us, it’s giving us an opportunity to start to fight back a little bit,” said Haque.

Hardy told 8News, he’s lucky to be among one of the first groups to be vaccinated. He calls the program a ‘great initiative.’

“We need to continue to move forward to keep everybody as safe as we can,” said Hardy.

According to Fort Lee officials, personnel included in ‘Phase 1 Alpha’ or Phase 1a like healthcare providers and emergency services, are still able to get vaccinated. Those who were unsure at first about getting the COVID-19 vaccine have time to reconsider.

After the first dose of the vaccine, people must come back in 28-30 days for the second dose.

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