Pathfinder medic lights the way for 422nd MDS vaccination plan

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Eugene Oliver
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

The 422nd Medical Squadron recently began administering the COVID-19 vaccine at RAF Croughton, England.

Tech Sgt. Thomas Kent, 422nd MDS non-commissioned officer in charge, played a pivotal role in coordinating the efforts to implement a vaccination plan for the 422nd MDS.

“I have a dual role in the COVID-19 vaccine process at RAF Croughton, as NCOIC of immunizations I have been conducting vaccine specific training with our staff as well as vaccinating our members,” said Kent. “I also function as the POC with the Defense Logistics Agency so coordinating our needs based on the phases of distribution to higher HQ as well as being available 24/7 to receive vaccine shipments.”

“It was very significant to us at the 422nd Medical Squadron to be able to supply this vaccine to our high risk and essential populations as cases in the UK began to rise following the winter holidays.”

Kent spoke on the challenges the 422nd MDS faced when implementing the vaccination plan.

“Our general population at RAF Croughton is relatively small and each 10 dose vial is usable for 6 hours after the vial has been punctured so ensuring that we have patients on site to receive the vaccine in increments of 10 has been a challenge,” said Kent. “The 422nd MDS as a whole has really stepped up to have each section play a role in the daily COVID-19 vaccination operations so that it is a real team effort, and that has gone a long way to increase our productivity.”

Kent gave further details on how the process has been so far for the 422nd MDS now that the vaccination plan is in full swing.

“Our initial process has been scaled up to accommodate more people on a daily basis as our vaccine allocation increases,” said Kent. “We are still limited when it comes to social distancing space in our clinic so we will be getting creative in the future once a much larger allocation of vaccines becomes available for use in our phase 2 population.

Kent gave further updates on who is currently being vaccinated as well as the future plans for the 422nd MDS vaccination process.

“We are still vaccinating phase 1 patients in our area of responsibility in the UK so the vaccine is not available to the Phase 2 general healthy population yet but in the spring or early summer I expect the supply of vaccines to increase,” said Kent. “I am very proud to work with our Airmen at the 422nd MDS and this global vaccination effort is likely the most impactful thing we'll ever do for the health of our patients.”