NEWS | Feb. 4, 2021

Fort Greely Senior Leaders Set standard by Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

By Angela J. Glass U.S. Army Garrison Alaska, Public Affairs Office

FORT GREELY, Alaska – U.S. Army Garrison Alaska, Fort Greely senior leaders received the initial dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine provided by the Department of Defense and administered by Bassett Army Community Hospital personnel Jan. 14 and 28.

Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Joel Johnson and Deputy to the Garrison Commander Mr. Richard Fromm received the vaccine in an effort to protect Soldiers, Civilians, Contractors and their Families.

The Food and Drug Administration under Emergency Use Authorization has authorized the use of a COVID-19 vaccine after careful and rigorous testing and trials. Drugs and vaccines have to be approved by the FDA to ensure that only safe and effective products are available to the American public.

The Fort Greely vaccination rollout effort, in accordance with the Department of Defense, contained a phased, priority-based vaccine distribution plan initially focusing on those providing direct care, those maintaining mission essential functions and those at highest risk for developing severe illness due to COVID-19. The distribution plan began on Jan. 14 and has been a resounding success.

“The COVID-19 vaccination is an essential tool in the fight against the virus,” said Johnson. “This isn’t just about me. Getting immunized not only helps protect myself, but it helps protect our force who protect our nation.”

Some individuals might not be in a rush to get immunized due to numerous reasons, however both Johnson and Fromm encourage all personnel on Fort Greely to receive the vaccine when it becomes available, or to at least fully research the facts before making a uniformed decision.

According to the Center for Disease Control, none of the factors that contributed to the accelerated development of a COVID-19 vaccine imply that safety, scientific or ethical integrity was compromised, or that short-cuts were made. The DOD has full confidence in the safety, efficiency and transparency of vaccine information.

“Although getting vaccinated is completely voluntary, I encourage all of our garrison to get immunized,” said Fromm. “Even if you do not view yourself as high risk due to teleworking or quarantining, those measures will not remain in effect forever. We need to do our part in the effort to return to the normalcy we so deserve.”

For more information regarding the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Moderna.html

Fort Greely serves as the home of the nation’s Ground Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system and is located about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. It is also the home of the Cold Regions Test Center. It is named in honor of Major General Adolphus Greely.