NEWS | March 25, 2021

MEDCoE Soldiers assist BAMC administering COVID-19 vaccines

By Jose E. Rodriguez U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence are assisting Brooke Army Medical Center in administering COVID-19 vaccines at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

BAMC has been booking appointments for high-risk beneficiaries ages 16 to 64 and is administering the vaccine to high-risk beneficiaries ages 16-64 and beneficiaries 65 and older, Phase 1a and 1b military and civilian personnel (Department of Defense healthcare, national security and frontline essential personnel).

This has taken place at its JBSA-Fort Sam Houston vaccination site at the Training Support Center, located in building 4110 at 2536 Garden Ave. This location is up the road from the Capt. Jennifer Moreno Clinic and BAMC repurposed this site to offer beneficiaries better vaccine access and safety.

Students in the 68C Advanced Individual Training Practical Nursing Specialist course, assigned to the 264th Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade, along with MEDCoE Headquarters Support Company cadre, are assisting BAMC in this effort.

This effort helps expand vaccine capability, while also leveraging Army Medicine assets in the fight against the pandemic. For the 68C Nursing Specialists who have completed Phase I of their AIT, assisting BAMC lets them utilize learned skills while they await to complete Phase II of their training at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The efforts of the U.S. Army and Department of Defense in administering COVID-19 vaccines, along with the use of masks, hand washing, and maintaining social distancing are helping the federal government in acting swiftly and aggressively against the pandemic.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, beneficiaries can visit the TRICARE Online Patient Portal at https://www.tricareonline.com,  call 210-916-9900 or 1-800-443-2262, Option 8, Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m  

Keep in mind that hold times may be longer than usual and up to 15 minutes, and it’s recommended to use the TRICARE Online Patient Portal. Whether booking online or on the phone, high-risk beneficiaries will be asked to identify their medical condition for documentation purposes. They will not need to bring documentation to their appointment. The DOD uses CDC guidance to determine which conditions place people at increased risk for severe illness.

For patients outside of the TRICARE network, COVID-19 vaccines are available at most hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and other vaccination locations. To find a location, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vaccinefinder/about.html.