Approximately 3,600 doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine were administered to Afghan evacuees at Ramstein Air Base and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Sept. 26.
The mass administering of the COVID-19 vaccine was provided to evacuees in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease while transiting through Ramstein.
“This is being done out of an abundance of caution,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jaime Rojas, 86th Medical Group chief of aerospace medicine. “We are in a transition area where we have evacuees for the next 14 to 21 days. Giving this level of protection to them will help them on their way forward.”
This will not only provide protection for the evacuees, but also for anyone they come in contact with as they move on to other transient locations.
“We want to make sure as a public health entity that the people going to the United States are going to be vaccinated for COVID, for their protection and also for the protection of people in the United States,” Rojas said.
Administering vaccinations is a process the 86th Medical Group has performed countless times and is a normal procedure to maintain the safety of service members and others.
“From a healthcare standpoint, the more people we get vaccinated the better off the population as a whole is going to be,” said Major Kevin Bourne, 86th Medical Support Squadron pharmacist.
Ramstein began the vaccination effort out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of the evacuees, local communities and populations of their next location.