Tinker prepared for vaccine arrival

  • Published
  • By Paul Shirk
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Tinker Air Force Base’s 72nd Medical Group is prepared to deliver coronavirus vaccinations quickly when supplies arrive.

According to Department of Defense plans, Tinker’s initial doses will be prioritized for medical workers, emergency services and public safety personnel.

“This vaccine brings us one step closer to getting out of this challenging time, but we need everyone to stay vigilant,” said Col. Paul Filcek, 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker Installation Commander. “Our Medical Treatment Facility stands ready to quickly and efficiently vaccinate as many members of Team Tinker as possible every time shipments arrive.”

The 72nd Medical Group Clinic has been running vaccination exercises to ensure their staff and facility are ready to vaccinate in a safe and efficient manner.

Vaccines will be given in a two-dose series separated by 21 or 28 days, depending on the product.

Vaccines from different manufacturers are not interchangeable. Centers for Disease Control experts say it is important that vaccine recipients return for their follow-up dose and get the same product in order to receive the best protection. That means if you receive your vaccine on base you must return to the Medical Group for the second dose.

The vaccines currently being distributed are voluntary until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues its full and final approval. Additional information, including how the vaccine works and safety monitoring, can be found at

All DOD beneficiaries and other individuals who are eligible to receive vaccines from the DOD will be offered COVID-19 immunization, in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, through a phased approach as supplies of the vaccine become available.

According to the CDC, COVID precautions such as masks and social distancing will still be necessary until a large portion of the population is vaccinated and the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection.

“The intent of the vaccine is to prevent the spread of COVID 19. It will take time to immunize those who want to be vaccinated, so we are relying on everyone to continue practicing COVID safety by frequently washing your hands, social distancing and wearing masks when around others,” said Filcek.

Up-to-date information can be found at or by calling the Tinker COVID hotline at 405-582-6297.

For more information on the DOD’s response to the coronavirus, visit