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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2021

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio 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: This question is regarding COVID-19 booster vaccinations. 

I have tried to find out if there is any sort of schedule when these shots will be administered at JBSA and so far I haven’t been successful with finding out this information. 

The installations have done an excellent job of providing COVID-19 shots to authorized recipients. The program was professionally accomplished at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston using Brooke Army Medical Center personnel and others. 

I understand COVID-19 has been an obstacle in this process and the boosters are a new element. Any information you can provide is much appreciated.

A: Thank you for your question!

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to assess the efficacy and safety of a COVID-19 booster dose for the general population. 

Initial reports indicate the FDA will recommend emergency use authorization of a booster dose for individuals 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness six months after they get their first two shots. We will provide updates as we receive them.

As a reminder, the San Antonio Market is currently offering an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for immuno- compromised beneficiaries and immunocompromised staff members at the vaccination site at the main post JBSA-Fort Sam Houston (site details below).

For CDC additional dose criteria, please visit https://www.cdc .gov/coronavirus/2019-cov/vaccines /recommendations /immuno.html. If you have additional questions or feel you meet the criteria, but your condition is not listed, please contact your provider team.

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may not build enough (or any) protection when they first get a vaccination. When this happens, an additional dose of the vaccine can sometimes help them build more protection against the disease. 

That’s why the CDC recommends moderately to severely immunocompromised people consider receiving an additional (third) dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.

In contrast, a booster dose refers to another dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreases over time.

Beneficiaries can make a same-day appointment on TRICARE Online or by calling the appointment line (210-916-9900), or stop by without an appointment during weekly walk-in hours.

• JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON VACCINE SITE: Open Monday through Friday; weekly walk-in hours: Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. BAMC team members without military healthcare are welcome to stop by during the designated walk-in hours. BAMC’s COVID-19 vaccination site is located in the Training Support Center on main post JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, building 4110, 2536 Garden Avenue.

• WILFORD HALL AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTER VACCINE SITE: Vaccination hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; walk-in hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. WHASC’s COVID-19 vaccination site is located at 1100 Wilford Hall Loop, JBSA-Lackland in the atrium at the C entrance.

Q: As a service member, I wanted to know how I can go about getting reimbursed for having to relicense and all the certifications that my wife had to be complete to work as a nurse in the state of Texas. 

What is the eligibility requirement for this program?

A: Great question! 

This is a Total Force program so any Regular Air Force, AF Reserve or Air National Guard Airmen on Title 10 orders may be eligible, providing the situation meets the criteria established in the policy. Any order authenticated on or after Dec. 20, 2019, qualifies for reimbursement re-licensure /re-certification up to $1,000 threshold. 

Your orders must authorize the movement of the Airman’s dependents at the government’s expense. Also if you are PCSing/PCAing from a duty station in another state including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington D.C., and the U.S. territories, then you would be eligible. 

Reach out to your installations Airman & Family Readiness Center, the Department of Labor website at https://www.vertans.gov/milspuces, and the DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program at https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil to learn more about licensing and certifications and how requirements vary by state.

You can also visit www.jbsa.mil /Resources/Finance/Air-Force -Financial-Services/ for more information on Spouse Licensure reimbursement.