Tiger medics prepare Moody for flu season

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Gillespie
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Medical Group hosted a three-day mass vaccination campaign at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 14-16, 2022.

In an effort to vaccinate 90 percent of the base population by Dec. 15, the 23rd MDG took deliberate actions to carry out a successful vaccination line.

“Our mass vaccination plan is beneficial because it provides a single point of distribution to vaccinate as many people as we can on base,” said Capt. Jennifer Tomlinson, 23rd MDG pharmacy element chief of diagnostics and therapeutics. “Whether they’re a shift worker, day worker or overnight worker, they can come in at any time to get the vaccination.”

Influenza is an annual requirement for all active-duty service members, and with the uptick in flu cases this season, it is critical for Team Moody to be fully vaccinated. While striving to meet this requirement, 23rd MDG leadership still had a clinic to run and a base to support.

“It was important that we accommodate every shift and not have too much impact on our normal functions and the clinic,” Tomlinson said. “It would hold up many lines of service. In that case, we think about who can rotate out at certain points, what time peak hours are and we measure all of that before we go on shift.”

The 23rd MDG was able to combat a manning shortage while ensuring smooth operations at the clinic by expanding Airmen’s expertise outside their normal scope of responsibilities.

“We shifted some of our resourcing,” Tomlinson said. “We trained more personnel in different areas which makes them multi-capable. We give them the knowledge for other areas of the clinic so when someone steps out or gets deployed, we can fill that gap.”

Arming Airmen with the skills necessary to administer vaccines was among those extended skill sets. This made it easier for the medical group to service and inform base personnel of the importance of receiving the influenza vaccine.

“Getting the vaccine is important to prevent any severe flu illness,” said Airman 1st Class Cody Ballenger, 23d MDG medical technician. “It helps decrease the possibility of fatality from influenza.”

Progressing their goal to reach the 90-percent vaccination rate while maintaining normal operations at the clinic is testament to the hard work and dedication of the 23rd MDG Airmen.

“Without our airmen this would not have been possible. They worked together throughout this process.” Tomlinson said. “They leaned on and depended on each other to get things done, which helped with morale. I think that keeps the spirit and tempo up.”

The immunization clinic is providing flu vaccines on a walk-in basis for those who still require one.