'It’s safe, it’s effective, and it protects.' "Vaccine distribution underway at Fort Campbell

Fort Campbell vaccinations
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 21:33:21-05

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (WTVF) — Health care workers at Fort Campbell are administering hundreds of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each day while supplies last.

In the initial phase, health care workers and those who work in military COVID-19 operations were vaccinated. "I think the vaccine gives the offensive spirit," Randy Durian said.

Currently, Fort Campbell is in phase 1B.1, so Durian, the deputy director of emergency services, got the vaccine on Thursday. "It’s part of following the Golden Rule,” Durian said, “If I consider others more important than myself, I understand that this prevents me from getting the virus, then it also protects others."

In accordance with the Department of Defense's plan, people critical to nuclear deterrence, and personnel preparing to deploy, can get it in this phase. Garrison Commander Colonel Jeremy Bell believes in the science which is why he volunteered to get the injection.

"I think every day that we do these things, we’ll get more and more folks comfortable with taking the vaccine," Bell said, "It’s safe, it’s effective, and it protects."

He encourages soldiers to do the same when it's available to them. “It will help Fort Campbell, it will help our community be safe," Bell said.

The hospital will contact the people who are next in line to get the vaccine. "It’s a robocall and they get asked if they want to opt into the shot, or they don’t, and once we have an idea of the number of people who are interested, we could call them back and make appointments once the vaccine is available," Dr. Patrick Birchfield said.

Col. Birchfield is the commander of Blanchfield Army Community Hospital where the vaccines are being administered. He said their notification and vaccine distribution process is going great. "Honestly, I haven’t seen any hiccups, our process here developed locally has been flawless," Birchfield said, "It’s been very very seamless."

They currently have the Pfizer vaccine. Fortunately, they already had the ultra-low freezers to store it.

Birchfield said phase 2 includes people who have health issues, as well as people age 65 and up.