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NEWS | March 11, 2022

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 502ABW.PA.official@us.af.mil using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.”

Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q: If the flu and influenza waiver is a yearly requirement to participate in on-base activities, then why isn't the process adequately tracked? How can this process be corrected?

I have small children who have been a part of the Child Development Center and summer programs since birth. There has always been a requirement for waivers concerning flu and influenza, at which I have always requested a waiver.

When I arrived at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, it was no different. I requested a waiver for my children in March of 2021, but I never received a copy of their approved waiver. In August, I reached out to the Fort Sam Houston School Age Care requesting a copy of the approved waiver, and I was told it was lost.

I have sent repeated emails and made countless phone calls to the director requesting the status of my children's waiver, and as of today, I still have not received the waiver that I have requested for five months.

A: Thank you for sharing your concern with us. Below explains how the 502d Force Support Group tracks these required waivers.

In accordance with Air Force Instruction 48-110 Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases, all children and youth enrolled in Child and Youth Programs are required to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, recommended age-appropriate vaccinations and immunizations with the exception of the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV. These individuals may not attend Child Youth Programs without an approved medical or religious exemption from the installation Force Support Group commander on file.

An immunization exemption may be granted for medical or religious reasons. Requests for religious exemptions must include a statement from the employee, parent, or legally authorized representative.

This statement must explain their sincerely held religious beliefs, the reason for objection and acknowledgment that they are aware of the risk involved.

When choosing not to immunize, an acknowledgment that exempted individuals are subject to exclusion from working in or attending in CYPs during an outbreak.

Requested medical exemptions must include a reason from the adult, child, or youth’s primary care provider or allergy provider for the exemption. The primary care provider’s response affirms that there is a medical complication if the individual, child, or youth were to be immunized, and acknowledgment that they are aware of the risk involved when choosing not to immunize.

Medical Treatment Facility staffs should review medical exemptions issued by network or non-MTF primary health care providers for validity prior to the Force Support Group commander’s approval. Once a medical/religious exemption request is received by a CYP, it is reviewed by the program director to determine all required components are complete and included.

The completed package is then routed through the FSY Flight Chief, Force Support Squadron Director, Medical Advisor, Legal (as needed) and then to the Force Support Group commander for review and decision.

Throughout the routing process, it is determined if additional information or documentation is needed. This can lead to delays in final approval. Upon approval, families are notified of the approved waiver and a copy is maintained in the child’s file at the program.

We would like to thank you for your feedback and apologize for this inconvenience. We use the feedback provided to improve our process and try to eliminate incidents like this from occurring again.

We strive to provide the best service we possibly can for all of our members and participants.