Michigan National Guard
Story by Master Sgt. David Kujawa
FLINT, Mich.— With 18 COVID-19 vaccination community events held and thousands of residents vaccinated, the partnership between the Michigan National Guard (MING) and Genesee County Health Department marches on.
Several MING COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Teams (CVTT) have been working side-by-side with county health workers and volunteers at several different Flint, Mich., locations weekly since Jan. 16, 2021. More than 5000 initial vaccine doses have been administered to eligible community residents.
Tina Hanson, supervisor of immunizations for the Genesee County Health Department has been involved with all the community events held.
“All 18 events to this point have been a complete success, much of the success in large part is due to the MING partnership,” Hanson said. “We often hear from residents that it’s so nice to see the Soldiers being part of the initiative.”
The event held today at Flushing High School, Flint, Michigan, registered more than 1000 vaccinations and more than 700 residents receiving their second dose.
U.S. Army Spc. Kristopher Huffa, a medic mobilized with Michigan’s Task Force Red Lion CVTT, since Jan. 21, 2021, is a Flint resident himself.
“I could not feel a closer relationship to my community since I’ve become part of the Task Force Red Lion CVTT.” Huffa said. ““I enlisted to do more in my community and serve my country and that’s exactly what I’m doing!”
Each three member CVTT consists of a medic administering the vaccine and two administration assistants processing immunization history and consent forms along with several additional duties.
“I have worked with several MING CVTTs and they are all alike professional, competent, and efficient.” Hanson said. “They are the type of team members we needed to accomplish this monumental effort.”
The Michigan National Guard has spent months testing for COVID-19 throughout the state, assisting in food banks, and working at long term health care facilities. The Soldiers and Airmen have been essential in fighting the virus and providing the state with other lifesaving efforts and now they are on to the important lifesaving effort of getting the safe and effective vaccine out to the people of Michigan.
“We are planning several events in the near future,” Hanson said. “We hope to have the MING continue on with the team.”
“Having only one month with the Task Force Spartan CVTT, I have never felt better about my job, as a medic—the reward is a healthy community again,” Huffa said.