Virginia National Guard provides mobile vaccination teams
By Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Joint Force Headquarters
/ Published March 29, 2021
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia National Guard is reconfiguring the task force conducting COVID-19 testing and mask fit training to create mobile vaccination teams.
The new teams will consist of Army and Air National Guard medics trained and certified by the Virginia Department of Health to administer the vaccines. These teams will also include supervisory, medical, administrative and logistics specialists that manage the teams' operations.
The VNG plans to reconfigure its testing task force into five mobile vaccination teams. Each team is to be able to vaccinate up to 250 people a day in support of localities. The mobile teams will remain deployed under the direction of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Health.
The teams will also conduct COVID-19 testing, as needed.
The VNG has a limited number of medical providers available due to other military operational requirements and planned overseas deployments.
Approximately 325 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen operating in two battalion task forces from multiple units are supporting the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia Department of Health at COVID-19 community vaccination sites across the commonwealth.
Starting March 1, 2021, a new battalion task force began a two-week training period at community vaccination sites across Virginia. The Virginia COVID-19 Unified Command then set priorities and decided where the VNG personnel would deploy to provide logistics, administrative and operational support.
Since COVID response operations began in April 2020, VNG personnel have collected more than 172,000 samples for testing and tested thousands of N95 respirator masks for proper fit in support of localities.
Missions from April through July 2020 included helping food banks across the state distribute more than 1.3 million pounds of food.