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Evans Hospital provides COVID-19 vaccines at Fort Carson SEC

 

Last updated 2/9/2021 at 11:24am | View PDF

Emily Klinkenborg, EACH Public Affairs

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Edwin Beck, a WWII POW, 95, and wife, Fay, 89, received their initial COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 29 at the William "Bill" Reed Special Event Center at Fort Carson. "We'd been waiting for this moment," Beck said.

Story by Jeanine Mezei 

Evans Army Community Hospital  

After weeks of careful planning and preparation, Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH) repurposed the William "Bill" Reed Special Events Center as Fort Carson's dedicated COVID-19 vaccination site Jan. 25.

"The new location is critical in enabling us to get vaccinations to Soldiers as efficiently and safely as possible," said Col. Kevin Bass, EACH commander and Colorado Military Health System director. "This is a combined effort to ensure our warfighters and beneficiaries can receive the vaccine in a timely manner and our medical personnel have a designated, functional vaccination clinic."

Support from installation partners, notably medics with 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, helped make this clinic a reality.

"Hospital personnel provided the foundation for this effort while still maintaining the health care mission at Evans," said Maj. Theresa Suggs, the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan chief at EACH. "Materiel support from 4th Infantry Division, 627th Hospital Center and the Special Events Center staff helped us design the location with ample physical distancing throughout."

Since EACH began offering Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations to health care workers and emergency services personnel at Warrior Clinic Dec. 22, the demand for vaccinations remains high at Fort Carson.

EACH continues to coordinate a detailed vaccine schedule with various units and organizations throughout the Colorado Springs military community, such as Peterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Within Phase 1B of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Vaccine Distribution Plan, EACH is currently providing initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to national critical capabilities and personnel preparing to deploy to locations outside of the continental U.S.

Soldiers who received the vaccine at the new location arrived at their unit's designated time made in coordination with the EACH COVID-19 operations team.

"I arrived during my unit's specified time and got in line," said Capt. Michael Hoblin, deputy signal officer with 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Inf. Div. "I was given a pamphlet on the Moderna vaccine so I would know exactly what to expect and from there I was directed to the next station to receive my vaccine."

After signing in with staff and receiving a medical screening, the next step is at a vaccination station to receive the initial dose.

"I was observed by the medical staff for the possibility of an adverse reaction and after the observation period, with no reactions to the vaccine, I was given my return date for my second shot and sent on my way," said Hoblin. "Having designated time slots for units really made the whole experience way more efficient."

Emily Klinkenborg, EACH Public Affairs

Beck joined the Army in 1943 during WWII. During the Battle of the Bulge, he was captured by enemy forces and was imprisoned at a labor camp near Oschatz, Germany. After six months, he managed to escape and made his way back to U.S. forces. He also served his country during the Korean War.

Those who initially received the COVID-19 vaccine in late December at EACH are currently completing their vaccination series with a second dose, which is administered approximately 28 days after the first dose.

Vaccines will be offered to EACH patients, including military family members and retirees, after prioritized groups and individuals have been vaccinated in accordance with the DOD Population Schema.

Updates on vaccine availability are available at the EACH Facebook page at

http://www.facebook.com/EvansArmyCommunityHospital or the EACH website at https://evans.tricare.mil.

Vaccines are by appointment only at this time for patients 75 and older, Soldiers deploying overseas soon and national critical capabilities. Those in the 75-plus group do not have to be enrolled at Evans for primary care, but they have to be able to schedule an appointment with the Access to Care Line at 526-2273.

"We'd been waiting for this moment," said retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Edwin Beck, a WWII POW, 95. Along with his wife, Fay, 89, the couple received their initial COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 29 at the William "Bill" Reed Special Event Center at Fort Carson.

 

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