NEWS | Sept. 2, 2021

BAMC expands COVID-19 vaccine program to inpatients

By Elaine Sanchez Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

 In an effort to protect its most vulnerable patients from illness, Brooke Army Medical Center is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all hospital inpatients ages 12 and older.

BAMC administered its first inpatient vaccine to a postpartum patient Sept. 1.

“We are honored to offer this lifesaving vaccination to our inpatients, to include our military beneficiaries and civilian emergency/trauma patients,” said Christina Kramer, chief nurse, Department of Pediatrics.

The new program enables inpatients to either start or completes the vaccination process during their hospital stay.

“Being vaccinated against COVID-19, whether fully or partially, increases the chances of a milder or shorter illness compared to those who are unvaccinated,” Kramer explained, citing CDC data.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to provide protection against severe illness and hospitalization among people of all ages eligible to receive them. And, in the case of COVID vaccines, for maximum benefit, two doses are better than one.

Either a patient or healthcare team member can initiate the vaccine discussion. Once patients opt-in and are cleared to receive the vaccine, they are given the screening form, the Pfizer vaccine and instructions for V-Safe, the CDC’s post-vaccine health checker.

“The goal is for the patient and their healthcare team to work together to determine the best care plan possible,” Kramer said.

For outpatients, BAMC continues to offer the Pfizer vaccine to all beneficiaries ages 12 and up at its vaccination site on main post Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. The vaccination site also offers an additional dose to patients with moderately to severely compromised immune systems.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective,” Kramer said. “Being vaccinated is a vital part of reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protecting yourself, your family, and your community.”

For more information on BAMC’s COVID vaccine program, visit https://bamc.tricare.mil/. For general information on COVID vaccines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html?s_cid=11625:covid%20vaccine%20facts:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN.Grants:FY22.