NEWS | Nov. 21, 2017

Exercise tests medical group’s rapid immunization capability

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The 628th Medical Group demonstrated their ability to swiftly administer medication in the event of a pandemic or health emergency during a mass-immunization exercise at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, Nov. 15, 2017.

The exercise afforded members useful training and challenges measuring their response and efficiency.

“A pandemic has the potential to decrease combat readiness and restrict personnel from performing the mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Powell, 628th MDG superintendent. “By having a central point of distribution, we are able to process thousands of members within 24 hours so they can continue the mission.”

In addition, the group established a flu vaccine venue concurrently, providing real-world flu shots to patients during the exercise. By having a real flu vaccine administered, it allowed over 500 base members to become current on their vaccines and ready in the face of flu season.

“Our operations called for a point of distribution which could potentially serve several thousands of people on JB Charleston.” said Col. Randall Lambert, 628th MDG commander. “The average patient took about five minutes to process from start to finish.”

To avoid major backups and relieve appointment times for other TRICARE patients at the immunization clinic, Airmen on the installation were encouraged to come during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to receive their immunizations.  

“It was fantastic seeing both members and leadership involved from start to finish,” said Lambert. “I couldn’t be prouder of our medical technicians, nurses, pharmacy and clinical staff who will continue to keep our base members safe and ready.”