NEWS | April 16, 2021

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller 502d Air Base Wing Commander

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings, and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to jbsapublicaffairs@gmail.com using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q.  Now that Texas is allowing any person, regardless of age, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, will JBSA bases be doing the same? When and where can active duty military get vaccinated? Thank you.

A. Thank you for your question. Starting March 29, adults ages 16 and older were eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas. However, Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center will not expand to that population at this time.

We continue to administer the vaccine to the following populations: high-risk beneficiaries ages 16-64, beneficiaries age 65 and up, and Phase 1a and 1b military and civilian personnel (Department of Defense healthcare, national security and frontline essential personnel).

As background, based on the CDC’s guidance, the Department of Defense developed its own population schema to prioritize vaccination efforts. It’s important to note that DOD has unique considerations for its population including Critical National Capabilities and personnel deploying to overseas locations.

So, you may notice that the DOD and Texas vary in their vaccine administration due to the prioritization of different populations and targeted distribution of the available vaccine.

As a reminder, beneficiaries who fit the criteria outlined above can book appointments on TRICARE Online at https://www.tricareonline.com or call the CAMO appointment line during duty hours at 210-916-9900.

With a limited number of appointments available, beneficiaries are also welcome to visit TRICARE Online anytime to look for open appointments due to cancellations.

Phase 1a and 1b personnel who are not TRICARE beneficiaries should book appointments through their organization. Beneficiaries are also encouraged to look for vaccine opportunities within the community as we strive to build public immunity.

Q. Since you have lowered the level of access to JBSA-Lackland, I would like to know if you could reconsider the current closure of some gates, especially the JBSA-Lackland Selfridge East gate that allows access to the BX and the commissary. The current wait at the open gates is very long.

A. Thank you for your email and concern about traffic conditions at the JBSA-Lackland gates. The 802d Security Forces Squadron strives to meet customer needs while balancing safety and security requirements with available manpower and COVID-19 precautions. 

We continually monitor gate traffic to analyze wait times and where it may be appropriate to make adjustments to policies and procedures. 

For a variety of reasons, including decreased Basic Military Training and technical school training visitation, gate wait times are significantly lower than pre-COVID wait times. 

We will continue to monitor gate wait times and will adjust when requirements are validated.  We recommend you consider using the Growden gate as it rarely has any delay.  Thank you for your feedback and patience.