The world has been at war with COVID-19 for more than a year, but the recently approved vaccines are giving the Army a chance to fight back.
Taking their first shot at the virus, several U.S. Army Financial Management Command Soldiers and civilian employees received round one of COVID-19 vaccines at the Indiana National Guard’s Johnson County Armory in Franklin, Indiana, Feb. 5 and Feb. 10.
“To me getting the vaccine is a 'no-brainer,’” said John Rosado, USAFCOM military pay analyst. “Wearing the mask and social distancing are fine temporarily, but that’s not the long-term solution. Only the vaccine will end the pandemic.”
Kathy Lauve, USAFMCOM executive assistant, agreed. She said that with nearly 470,000 Americans who lost their battle with the virus so far, the disease is “no joke.”
“I wanted some protection, I wanted to feel safe, and I wanted to be able to protect the people I'm around,” explained Lauve. “The way the world is right now, getting the vaccine was the right choice for me.”
While Rosado expressed his confidence in the vaccines now available under the Federal Drug Administration’s emergency-use authorization, he acknowledged some may be skeptical. Still, he said he thought the benefits far outweigh any risks.
“I think a lot of people are hesitant because this is brand new,” added Audrey Lee, USAFMCOM accountant, who also received the vaccine. “In the grand scheme of things, seeing as there are so many who have succumbed to COVID, I’d rather trust the doctors and scientists.”
Lee knows firsthand how dangerous the virus can be.
“I don’t want to take the chance of me getting sick again and not fairing as well as I did the last time,” she said. “I also have healthcare workers in my family who I don’t want to put at risk, so I thought it was my moral and personal responsibility for me to take it as soon as the opportunity was afforded to me.”
Rosado concurred with that sentiment.
“I owe it to my family to do my part to help control and eventually end this pandemic,” said Rosado. “I just want to do my small part because we all want to go out and enjoy life fully again, with no restrictions.”
As for actually getting vaccinated, Lee said she was very impressed with how the Indiana National Guard Medical Detachment worked to safely and quickly administer the vaccines.
“They had a very good process, and you could tell they’ve been doing this for a while,” she said. “Like with any mission in the military, they’ve worked through all the bugs and have it down to a science.”
All of the USAFMCOM employees interviewed said the only side effects they experienced were a little soreness at the injection site and a bit of tiredness immediately following the vaccination.
USAFMCOM Indianapolis employees wishing to be put on a list to possibly receive a COVID-19 vaccine when available should contact their supervisor.
Information about vaccines being offered can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Approximately 150 members of the Indiana National Guard and officials with the Indiana Department of Health are helping distribute, transport and administer the COVID-19 vaccine to Hoosiers across the state.
(Editor’s note: None of the people interviewed in this story are medical experts. They are sharing their personal views and experiences. Employees should only seek medical advice from their medical providers.)
As a major subordinate command of the Army Materiel Command, USAFMCOM enables the readiness of America’s Army by serving as the Army’s focal point for all finance and comptroller operations while providing finance and comptroller capabilities that facilitate accountability, auditability and stewardship.
USAFMCOM conducts enterprise-level financial operations and provides technical coordination for FC units and commands across the Army in order to ensure the effective implementation of policies and programs to support optimally resourcing the Army.