“The National Guard wants to sort of nip a problem in the bud before the problem occurs,” said Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Representative Bill Phelan in an interview with the Missourinet. “The whole purpose of our H1N1 program at the Missouri National Guard is to keep all of our soldiers combat-ready. Readiness is a big thing in the National Guard, and if your soldiers are sick they are not ready to perform their duty, whatever that duty happens to be.”
The H1N1 vaccination is mandatory for military personnel to make sure these individuals stay healthy.
“It is not a problem now in the National Guard or in the Armed Forces as far as I am aware,” said Phelan. “But we are adopting the Boy Scout motto of ‘Be Prepared.’ That is why we want to acquire somewhere in the neighborhood of five-to-seven thousand doses of the vaccine to immunize the soldiers of the Missouri National Guard as quickly as possible.”
The vaccine should arrive in the next few weeks.
“Sometime between now and mid-November we are expecting to receive the doses of vaccine,” said Phelan. “On that note, I have no idea whether the vaccine will be the nasal spray or whether it will be an injection type of vaccine.”
The Guard is unable to say exactly how many doses of vaccine will be needed as that will depend on the number of Missouri National Guard members deployed in this state when the vaccine is delivered.