Sen. Kelly takes Arizona vaccine effort into his own hands, administers shots

Apr 1, 2021, 3:43 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm

(Video screenshot/@SenMarkKelly)...

(Video screenshot/@SenMarkKelly)

(Video screenshot/@SenMarkKelly)

PHOENIX — Mark Kelly has flown the space shuttle, was a captain in the Navy, serves in Washington, D.C., as a senator and now has administered COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The U.S. senator from Arizona doled out the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix Thursday after administering shots in Tucson the day prior.

“It was an opportunity to contribute in a way that matters,” Kelly told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Thursday.

So what does a Navy veteran, politician and astronaut know about giving a vaccine shot? Apparently a lot.

“As a guy that’s flown the space shuttle four times, we have to have a crew medical officer on board,” Kelly said. “That was one of my jobs when I was the pilot of the space shuttle on my first two flights.

“There’s a little bit of training, it’s not that complicated as most people might expect.”

Kelly said the crew on the space shuttle has to be prepared for a lot of different medical contingencies.

“I’ve given intramuscular injections in space a number of times, but we could also start IVs in space, we can intubate people, we can catheterize them, there’s a defibrillator on the space station,” Kelly said.

Luckily all Kelly had to do medically on Wednesday and Thursday was ask people to roll up their sleeve and administer the vaccine shot, aiding the effort to get the pandemic over and return life to normalcy before COVID-19.

“We’ve got to get 75% of individuals vaccinated and if we do that, we can get to the end of this pandemic much quicker,” Kelly said.

His home state is getting there, as 30% of Arizona’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ dashboard.

More than 1.3 million people statewide are fully vaccinated against the virus.

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Sen. Kelly takes Arizona vaccine effort into his own hands, administers shots