Soldiers from Fort Riley continue to play an integral role in helping with the mass vaccination effort.
According to the Army post, Big Red One Soldiers continue to provide critical support to the whole-of-government COVID federal vaccination administration response. In late February, Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division deployed as part of a national effort to speed the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations. These Soldiers are now working seven days a week to assist federal and regional officials increase vaccination rates.
“As a whole, we’re supporting FEMA, the county and state, by increasing their efficiency at getting vaccinations into the arms of (people),” said Capt. Jendy Weppler, a physician with 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armor Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, supporting the Dallas Community Vaccination Center (CVC). “We’re proud and happy to be here.”
Approximately 230 Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division are supporting Community Vaccination Centers in Miami, Florida and Dallas, Texas. Weppler said that as the service members continue to work alongside FEMA and volunteer vaccine center workers, they will administer as many vaccines as possible to the local community each day. On the Dallas CVC’s opening day, over 6,000 total vaccinations were administered.
Additionally, the 1st Sustainment Brigade has 44 Soldiers supporting FEMA in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Dallas, Houston, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These logistics specialists are providing the reception and integration for incoming medical personnel from the civilian sector and Active and Reserve components.
1st Infantry Division Soldiers are assisting FEMA with logistical support and medical services. Soldiers are assigned to teams developed to support different population sets.
Big Red One Soldiers are supporting community vaccination centers in smaller communities, working on mobile vaccination teams to support underdeveloped or harder to reach rural communities and urban federally supported vaccine centers near major metropolitan areas. The teams and locations were determined by the lead federal agency.
Denise Bordelon, the deputy division director of response at FEMA Region Six, said that she was happy to see the military working alongside FEMA and volunteer vaccine site workers.
“The Army Soldiers that are doing the vaccinations are extremely professional,” Bordelon said. “They’re doing a wonderful job and we appreciate them.”
Photo and Video courtesy U.S. Army