Osan among first in ROK to comply with shot mandate

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --  Master Sgt. Bruce Mckenzie (right) was one of many people from the 51st Medical Group vaccinating wing and 7th Air Force people at the base theater Wednesday and Thursday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Master Sgt. Bruce Mckenzie (right) was one of many people from the 51st Medical Group vaccinating wing and 7th Air Force people at the base theater Wednesday and Thursday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Seventh Air Force became the first U.S. military organization in the Republic of Korea to comply with the new DOD regulation requiring individuals stationed in the ROK or Central Command are of responsibility to receive mandatory anthrax vaccinations Wednesday. 

Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood, 7th Air Force commander, said, "Our mission here on the Korean peninsula is one of vital importance ... That means taking every precaution to ensure we can defend ourselves against known threats." 

On Osan, the 51st Medical Group was looking to vaccinate approximately 4,000 people Wednesday and Thursday during a mass vaccination. 

"I'm very pleased with how smoothly and professionally the Med Group was able to mobilize and begin vaccinations for Team Osan," said Brig. Gen. Joe Reynes, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "Not only did this ensure Team Osan will be Ready to Fight Tonight if we are ever attacked with weaponized anthrax, but it showed that if there were a biological attack against the base our Combat Medics would be able to respond and protect all Mustangs." 

Anyone who hasn't received their vaccination yet must report to the vaccination clinic as soon as possible, said Capt. Kerry Ciolek, 51st Aerospace Medical Squadron public health officer. 

"The threat of weaponized anthrax is very real here on the peninsula," she said. "It only takes 600 anthrax spores to kill you; and about 600 spores fits on the head of a pin." 

People who received their first anthrax vaccinations on Wednesday and Thursday will be due for their second shots March 21 or 22. The 51st MDG will be providing vaccinations on the same schedule they used this week. 

Next week, the 51st MDG will begin traveling to GSUs to administer the vaccination
For more information on the anthrax vaccination, visit www.anthrax.mil or call 784-2523