WASHINGTON, April 5, 2021 -- When President Biden recently announced his goal of distributing 100 million COVID-19 vaccines to Americans in the first 100 days of his Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was one of the many Federal agencies that answered the call to help. Working through FEMA, APHIS immediately began deploying veterinarians to administer vaccines and other employees to assist in the logistics of running vaccination centers.
One of these veterinarians was Dr. Min-Tsung “Max” Yeh, a native of Shirley, NY who still lives and works there. Yeh traveled to Las Vegas, NV and spent a month vaccinating individuals at one of the large vaccination centers there.
“From my perspective, this exceptional deployment is to save lives and to assist Americans to return to some approximation of a normal life,” said Yeh. “I was fortunate to be able to work with our USDA colleagues, FEMA, the Southern Nevada Health District, and other volunteer medical professionals to make an indispensable contribution to the nation.”
To date, APHIS has deployed (both physically and virtually) over 400 employees to assist vaccination centers in Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The responders are fulfilling various needs – with qualified individuals giving vaccinations in some areas, and others completing tasks such as preparing vaccines, planning and logistics, and acting as safety officers and floor managers.
Yeh said this is one experience he won’t forget throughout his entire lifetime.
“The expression of people’s gratitude and appreciation for our efforts really touched my heart,” said Yeh. “I hope our society and nation will quickly recover in part because of the efforts we have made together.”
Yeh’s regular position with APHIS is an Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Veterinary Medical Officer with Plant Protection and Quarantine at the Port of New York and New Jersey. APHIS has a proven record of responding to emergencies, including various emergencies that threaten animal and plant health in the United States. More information about the Agency is available at www.aphis.usda.gov.
APHIS will continue to support these vaccination efforts as long as needed. Every Wednesday, USDA issues a factsheet that contains the latest information about the efforts of APHIS, as well as other USDA agencies that are providing support for the vaccination efforts. The factsheet may be found in the USDA Newsroom at Press Releases | USDA
*Group Photo: APHIS-Animal Care Employees Deployed to the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, NV (APHIS file photo)
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.