USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Medical department Sailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) conducted a ship-wide vaccination, or SHOTEX, while on deployment March 19-20.
The SHOTEX evolution allows a large percentage of the crew to quickly and efficiently receive the immunizations required for them to operate in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
The shots are part of an effort to keep Sailors healthy and mission ready at all times. During this SHOTEX, corpsmen administered vaccines for both small pox and anthrax.
"Anthrax and small pox are mandatory vaccinations for uniformed personnel deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility for more than 15 consecutive days," said Lt. Monica E. Hernandez, a medical administrative officer aboard Enterprise.
In preparing for the evolution, supplies of vaccine syringes, biohazard containers and other medical supplies were ordered to help facilitate the large number of Sailors who would receive the vaccinations.
"We staged approximately 20 hospital corpsmen throughout the department in an effort to make the evolution as smooth as possible," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jeffery D. Bozeman. "We administered roughly 3,000 vaccines in 48 hours."
The Big E keeps thousands of medical supplies on board to facilitate an evolution like this, as well as to prepare for every day occurrences.
"We make sure that we have the supplies we need and if not we make an effort to have what we need brought in by helocoptor or during an underway replenishment," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Luis A Valdez, a Medical department chief petty officer.
The medical department's planning prior to the vaccinations ensured there were more than enough supplies on-hand and that the SHOTEX was successful.
"My guys did a great job in making sure that this was a smooth evolution."
The Medical department administered the vaccines in order to help prepare the crew for the possibility of a bio-chemical attack aimed at the ship.
"If an enemy were to attack using biological warfare, the vaccines can add to the first line of defense against infection," said Hernandez. "We do our part to make sure that the crew is ready to perform the mission at a moments notice."
Training evolutions like SHOTEX are important elements of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department.
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