Fairchild Air Force Base is preparing for a Department of Defense mandate requiring service members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a statement Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he was seeking mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for service members by mid-September.
Lt. Michelle Chang, chief of media operations for Fairchild, located outside of Airway Heights, said, to date, 9,141 shots had been given on base. She said she was not authorized to share the percentage of personnel who are fully vaccinated.
She said when the vaccine first became available, mass vaccination clinics were opened on base and walk-in vaccine appointments are available now. She said if and when a mandate comes down from the Department of Defense, the base has the capacity to launch another mass vaccination clinic.
In a statement, Chang said the base is prioritizing service members' health, saying “to defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force.”