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Overcoming skepticism through education: 42nd MDG worker gets vaccine

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske
  • Air University Public Affairs

Margo Strong, a janitor with the 42nd Medical Group, received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Honor Guard Hangar Jan. 16, 2020, on Maxwell Air Force, Alabama.

Strong was offered the COVID-19 vaccine since she is categorized under “Phase 1a” of the DoD population schema. This means she receives priority in vaccine distribution because she supports patient care at the 42nd MDG, and she is at a higher risk of exposure to individuals who have contracted COVID-19.
Strong started working at the 42nd MDG in June 2020, but she’s been a resident of Montgomery for nearly forty years. She is responsible for performing detailed cleaning in any room where COVID-19 patients have been. This requires disinfecting of all surfaces like door knobs, seats and even the walls and floor. 

Strong acknowledged the importance of her role in keeping the medical facility sanitary in order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Ensuring that front-line workers like Strong have access to the vaccine is critical to sustaining operations on Maxwell. Strong said that being vaccinated lowers the risk of essential workers contracting COVID-19, or having to call in sick or having to quarantine, and allows everyone to continue doing their job and carrying out the mission.

Although Strong said she was initially skeptical about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, speaking to Capt. Aphton Lane, 42nd MDG Operation Warp Speed team lead, helped put her at ease.

Strong is excited to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic so she can visit family in Chicago again.

“My father’s only sister is 76 years old and I really want to see her... so I'm really looking forward to COVID being over with, so that we can go and see her.”