Published February 4, 2021
I am pleased to share that we received our first 300 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week, and began the important work of vaccinating our shipbuilders.
The first employees to receive the vaccine include first responders and essential personnel who maintain the yard during emergencies and perform schedule-critical work. As we receive additional vaccines, we will expand this group to include employees age 60 and over. In the coming days and weeks, you will hear from some of these shipbuilders about their experiences and their decisions to get the vaccine. Today, I’d like to share mine.
As part of our company’s emergency response group, I met the criteria to be vaccinated this week, and I received my shot on Tuesday afternoon. I did not experience any side effects, other than some soreness in my arm – similar to what I’ve experienced from a flu shot. While business continuity was an important factor in my decision to be among the first vaccinations, what mattered most to me was the need to lead by example. We expect to receive enough vaccines for our entire workforce, and although it is a personal choice, I hope my decision to get vaccinated will encourage others to do the same.
In the past six weeks, NNS has doubled its number of positive COVID-19 cases. While we are continuing our onsite testing program, facility sanitization efforts, mask wearing and social distancing, these steps alone will not stop the spread. The CDC advises that getting a vaccination is instrumental to ending the pandemic.
We expect to receive another 200 vaccines next week, and we will continue to communicate those details with you. Importantly, if you have an opportunity to receive the vaccine someplace other than NNS, we highly encourage you to do so.
Here are additional observations based on our first week of vaccine operations:
- Shipbuilders waited in line for about 20 minutes to receive their vaccines, and were then observed for 15 minutes. The entire process took about 45 minutes.
- Shipbuilders are scheduled for their second dose before leaving the vaccine center.
- The HII Family Health Center (QuadMed) medical staff is onsite to administer the vaccine and can provide general information. We recommend you discuss your specific concerns with your healthcare provider in advance.
As a reminder, additional information can be found here. We appreciate your continued patience and flexibility with this evolving plan, and I want to personally thank the team working so hard to bring the vaccines to us in a safe and convenient way. They are outstanding examples of what it means to be part of something greater than one’s self. The vaccine provides us all that opportunity, and I hope you will consider it once it becomes available to you.
Newport News Shipbuilding