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NGB mandates H1N1 vaccine for all Guardsmen

Tech. Sgt. Travis Davis, 162nd Medical Group, administers an H1N1 vaccine to a fellow Arizona Air National Guardsman March 13.

Tech. Sgt. Travis Davis, 162nd Medical Group, administers an H1N1 vaccine to a fellow Arizona Air National Guardsman March 13. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Desiree Twombly)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- In a Jan. 10 letter to the Adjutants General of all states and territories, Gen. Craig R. McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, stated that all uniformed National Guard members must be vaccinated for the H1N1 virus before Apr. 30.

The 162nd Medical Group recently received a shipment of 700 vaccines, and gave out 450 of those immunizations by Saturday of the March unit training assembly.

With blistered and bandaged fingers from prepping so many vaccination needles, Lt. Col. Jackie Federico-Lopez, the 162MDG Officer in Charge of Immunizations, is confident there will be enough vaccines for the unit to comply. "We have shipments on the way, and will administer the vaccinations during all UTAs," she said.

Schedules will be posted for full-time Guardsmen to receive the vaccine during the month, and drill status members can receive the vaccination during the April unit training assembly if they have not done so already.