Michigan’s Task Force Administers the COVID-19 Vaccine To More Than 2,600 Residents

A U.S. Army Soldier with the Michigan Army National Guard, currently serving with Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Testing Team (CVTT) Task Force Spartan directs traffic during an outdoor vaccination clinic held at Delta College, University City, Michigan, March 6, 2021. Michigan National Guard CVTTs are augmenting with local health care organizations, as requested, in the delivery and administration of the vaccination to Michiganders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Kujawa)

Michigan National Guard

Story by Master Sgt. David Kujawa

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mich. — The Michigan National Guard supported local health departments during a mass COVID-19 vaccination event March 6-7. More than 2,600 residents from three counties visited the main campus of Delta College in order to receive their vaccine for the virus.

The extraordinary volume of vaccinations administered during a two day indoor/outdoor clinic could not have been accomplished without the partnership of the Michigan National Guard (MING), and the Bay, Midland, and Saginaw county health departments.

The logistics to plan this large-scale event required a high level of organization and plenty of personnel. Thirty COVID-19 Testing Teams (CVTT) consisting of more than 90 Soldiers and Airmen from the MING supporting the Delta College mission assembled together on the south side of the campus parking lot to administer the COVID-19 vaccine through eight drive-up lanes, with an additional 13 stations set-up in the campus gymnasium.

“The eight weeks of planning for this weekend event is proving to be a complete success,” said U.S. Army Cpt. Jacob Burt, commanding officer of the 107th Engineer Battalion, Michigan Army National Guard, currently serving as the CVTT officer in charge. “The hard work of our Soldiers and Airmen combined with the local health department workers is nothing short of extraordinary.”

“The line of cars with up to three occupants filling the campus stretched out to the main road, had to be directed, processed, and vaccinated in an extremely organized manner,” Burt said, adding that, “Our Soldiers and Airmen executed the process in the most proficient way.”

The enthusiasm of those receiving the vaccine did not go unnoticed.

“I could not feel better about what I am doing today,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Koweck, combat medic mobilized with Michigan’s CVTT Task Force Spartan since Jan. 21, 2021. “I’m giving hope and an assurance that things will be normal again and there is a special feeling I have for the people I vaccinate. The majority of them thank me, but in reality I am the thankful one to be part of this great venture.”

Although it is March, Michigan’s temperatures didn’t affect outside operations.

“Despite cold temperatures, people receiving the vaccine and volunteers alike have been gracious, patient and excited,” said Daisy McQuiston, associate professor, program coordinator of nursing, at Delta College. “Another clinic is being put together for the weekend of April 10 and 11 and we are very happy to know we can count on the MING to work with us side by side once again.”

The Soldiers and Airmen with the MING have spent several months testing for COVID-19 throughout the state, assisting in food banks, and working at regional care facilities. In recent months, the MING began supporting Michigan’s vaccination efforts.

“I am very happy to see our eight weeks of hard work come to fruition,” said Burt. “Thanks to the tri-county health department workers, Delta faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and a big thanks to the ones who made me proud—the hard working Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen.”

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