By Airman 1st Class Zachary Rufus, 57 WG Public Affairs
/ Published February 19, 2021
U.S. Air Force Maj. Taylor Atchley, 99th Medical Group immunization clinic officer-in-charge, answers questions during the COVID-19 Town Hall rehearsal at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 17, 2021. Nellis AFB leadership and medical professionals hosted the town hall to give updates about COVID guidelines and answer questions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Zachary Rufus)
The Nellis Air Force Base COVID-19 Town Hall panel raise their hands during the rehearsal at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 17, 2021. The panel was asked “Who has already received the COVID vaccine?” (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Zachary Rufus)
New COVID-19 guidelines, the coronavirus vaccine and the road map to recovery were topics covered by Nellis leadership and medical professionals during the COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall, Feb. 17.
Col. Todd Dyer, 99th Air Base Wing (ABW) commander, and Col. Linda Hagemann, 99th Medical Group (MDG) deputy commander, addressed questions in front of a virtual, live audience during the event with the help of a panel of medical professionals from the 99th MDG, as well as 99th ABW Command Chief Master Sgt. Alex Morgan III.
Members of the panel included Lt. Col. Jeffrey Collins, public health flight commander, Maj. Shannon McCarthy, chief of infectious disease, and Maj. Taylor Atchley, chief of immunizations.
Dyer started the town hall with the announcement of the installation updating its health protection condition (HPCON) level to Bravo. Which means there has been a sustained decrease of COVID-19 cases in Southern Nevada, as well as on Nellis Air Force Base.
Dyer continued with a breakdown on mask wear guidance for the installation and his personal experience with the coronavirus vaccine.
“I’m here to protect the team and protect the mission,” said Dyer. “I wanted to offer my experience with the vaccine to help you make your decision”
Hagemann then provided the audience more information about the vaccine that Nellis is providing and Department of Defense’s (DoD) guidance for the administration of the vaccine.
“Mask wear and social distancing are great preventative measures we can take to keep ourselves safe,” said Hagemann. “But we now have one more tool in our tool box, and that is the coronavirus vaccination.”
Some of the questions asked by audience members during the town hall were: “When will I get my dose?” “Who is considered high risk for the vaccination?” “When will beneficiaries be eligible for the vaccine?”
Dyer and Hagemann then explained the different phases that the DoD has set for the administering of the vaccine which can be found here: https://www.nellis.af.mil/COVID-19/
The event concluded with both leaders thanking everyone for their continued patience and understanding during these tough times.
“I want to say thank you to everyone that joined us, hopefully you learned some valuable information from Col. Hagemann and the team,” said Dyer. “We appreciate you,a nd all of us are proud to be on your team.”