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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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Wilmington Native Assists with National Vaccination Efforts

APHIS employees assist with COVID vaccination efforts


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.

Dr. Daijah DoweOne of these veterinarians was Dr. Daijah Dowe, a native of Wilmington, NC who currently lives and works in Miami, FL. Dowe traveled to Las Vegas, NV and spent a month vaccinating individuals at one of the large vaccination centers there.
“This experience is by far the most rewarding and emotional one I’ve had thus far,” said Dowe. “I’ve seen tears of joy in patients’ eyes as they thank me for helping them. This effort goes deeper than the vaccine; it is giving hope!”

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.

Dowe was especially proud of the opportunity she had to help share her expertise with others.

“There were so many opportunities to share information with others. I was able to show nursing students how to administer vaccines. I also listened to personal and community concerns from many individuals and was able to share information I had to help encourage them to get vaccinated, and that made me very proud.”

Dowe’s regular position with APHIS is a Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer with Veterinary Services, Import/Export Services. 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

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 Details – APHIS-Employees Deployed to the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, NV (APHIS file photo)
Back row – Chelsea Buckley, Angela Depoe, Melissa Ackerman, Julianna Lenoch, Lori Linn, Jason Koopman Front row – Denise Bonilla, Daijah Dowe, Bonnie Boone, Stephanie Wire, Sarah Speth

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

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