HomeNewsArticle Display

Al Dhafra medics receive, distribute first large batch of COVID-19 vaccines

Tech. Sgt. Justin Everett loads COVID-19 vaccines onto a truck

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Justin Everett, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) NCO in charge of medical material, loads COVID-19 vaccines onto a truck to be transported to the 380th EMDG at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. The 380th EMDG received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a viral vector vaccine approved under Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Airmen unload COVID-19 vaccines from a C-130 Hercules

U.S. Airmen unload COVID-19 vaccines from a C-130 Hercules at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. Approximately 1,300 vaccines were sent to the base, ready to distribute amongst service members and Department of Defense contractors in country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Members from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing prepare to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Air Force members from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing prepare to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. Using point of distribution stations set up in the base fitness center, medics streamlined injections and monitoring, which resulted in vaccinating the first thousand volunteers within 36 hours of the vaccine’s arrival. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kenisha Lane receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kenisha Lane, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron patrolman, receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral-vector single-dose approved under the emergency use authorization. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Master Sgt. Daniel Delacey prepares a syringe of COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Delacey, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group Medical Operations Flight chief, prepares a syringe of COVID-19 vaccine at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing received approximately 1,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to distribute to Department of Defense members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Brig. Gen. Larry Broadwell receives a COVID-19 vaccination

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Larry Broadwell, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. The 380th Expeditionary Medical Group administered the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, a single-shot dose that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Members of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) receive a COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Air Force members of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) receive a COVID-19 vaccine briefing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2021. The 380th AEW held a vaccine drive to properly distribute the vaccines throughout the base population and answer questions about the vaccine. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --

Medics of the 380th Expeditionary Medical Group distributed more than 1,300 vaccines this week to service members from the U.S. Air Force and U.S Army, alongside local Department of Defense contractors.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the base via C-130 Hercules on March 15.

“Our goal was to design a well-oiled machine to make this experience respectful, efficient and smooth for every member processing through the points of distribution,” said Col. Bonnie Stevenson, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group commander.

The medics enacted a vaccination drive where military members were able to opt in or out of the vaccine after receiving an educational brief on the process. Using six POD stations set up in the base fitness center, medics streamlined injections and monitoring, which resulted in vaccinating the first thousand volunteers within 36 hours of the vaccine’s arrival. 

“In all my years of serving under medical squadrons and having planned a flu vaccine POD, this one was by far the best I have seen,” said Stevenson. “The medics, the leadership support, public affairs and line manpower volunteers all contributed to its resounding success. Many of us view the vaccine as hope and the beginning to the end of this pandemic.”

According to a DoD press release, nearly 1.3 million doses have been distributed at 335 DoD vaccination sites as of March 5.

“I received the vaccine and I did it not only for myself, but also for my son and, overall, the world,” said Tech. Sgt. Kenisha Lane, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron patrolman. “This was a big step in the right direction. Many people have lost their lives due to this pandemic, but with this vaccine hopefully this will help save more people and continue to help us move forward.”