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Inside the Gates: Spartan Brigade paves way for soldier vaccinations

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 5:34 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Medics and physicians with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

“The goal is to get our entire force immunized,” medical physician with the Spartan Brigade, Cpt. Jacob Shook, said. “Currently it’s a voluntary process but we do think in the future, as time goes on probably it’ll be a full force thing so we can get back to normal.”

The first soldier in line to get the vaccine was combat medic Sgt. Jason Hidlebaugh.

“So they asked for volunteers and I figured why not,” Hidlebaugh said. “Just go ahead and get it so they can do the studies and get things back the way it used to be.”

The Spartan medics and physicians were the first paratroopers on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to be vaccinated. They will play a crucial role in distributing doses of the vaccine to the rest of the brigade.

“As a medic, it’s very important because we touch base with people every day,” Hidlebuagh said. “We’re up close, personal. Anything medical I’m willing to help.”

On Wednesday, senior leaders with the Spartan Brigade received their initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I know the more people that get it, the more quicker we’ll be able to get back to normal life,” Hidlebaugh said.

Also to start the week, on the other side of the base, staff with the 673d Medical Group started vaccinating health care workers and other critical JBER personnel to help in the battle versus the COVID-19 virus.

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