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By Joshua Cohen
Soldiers and Airmen of the Vermont National Guard continue to support delivery of Personal Protective Equipment and COVID-19 vaccines from the State of Vermont’s Medical Countermeasures Warehouse.
According to Vermont Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Christina McGill, “since there has been an uptick in COVID cases we have been busy preparing and sending out vaccinations from this particular warehouse, I handle the additional supplies that go along with the vaccine, such as syringes.”
McGill is the non-commissioned officer in charge of the supply operations at the SNS.
Air National Guard Senior Airman Tong Lang works on the ‘vaccine side’ of the MC warehouse as deputy vaccine team manager, “we handle a lot of last-minute requests, shipping all three vaccine types to primary care facilities and hospitals, we noticed the amount of vaccination ampules has increased, but it is not anything near day one when we first started sending out vaccines.”
Lam said seven to eight delivery vehicles depart the SNS on a daily basis with vaccine and PPE supplies to all points in the state, with some making multiple stops along the way.
“Back in March-April at the height of the pandemic we shipped out 10,000 doses weekly, last June was 1,000 doses weekly,” Lam added.
McGill remarked, “Airman Lam’s mission is very important, his job is to handle the vaccine itself making sure that it leaves this warehouse and goes into the arms of every Vermonter, right now we have seven guard members and several state employees assigned here.”
McGill said that students 12 years and over the can now receive the vaccine, “for the younger students, we are supplying the schools with masks and hand sanitizer, and that has been going quickly, we had a lot of orders, cases and cases, masks and gloves as well.”
“Now is the subject of testing in the schools, so we’ll be in discussion on delivering tests kits, we currently deliver PPE to over 50 schools including the University of Vermont, everything else we support consists of long-term care and correctional facilities, it all depends on the need,” McGill added.
Vermont Army National Guard Pfc. Meagan Hopwood works with McGill on the PPE side of the MC operation, “we do PPE kit building and deliver them for different reasons, I am also the safety officer here, and to that end we have a daily meeting each morning to discuss the day’s missions.”
Regarding continued COVID support at the MC, McGill said the end of the operation depends on the situation with the virus, “we did see an uptick in PPE orders at the beginning of August.”