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Military To Start Next Phase Of Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution In San Antonio

COVID Vaccine
Jason W. Edwards/Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
Air Force Senior Airman Kasey Ginn, medical technician, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Army Capt. Christine Kasprisin, physical therapist, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021. The San Antonio Military Health System is starting the next phase of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout -- expanding the scope of who is eligible to get vaccinated against the virus.

The San Antonio Military Health System will start the next phase of the Defense Department’s coronavirus vaccine rollout — expanding the scope of who is eligible.

Both Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall will start administering the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to new populations in the coming days.

The new phase, 1B, includes TRICARE beneficiaries age 75 and older, personnel who perform critical national capabilities, personnel preparing to deploy to locations outside of the U.S., and frontline essential workers.

“We are doing everything we can do to put shots in arms as quickly as possible,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes, SAMHS market director and commander of 59th Medical Wing, which oversees Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. “We continue to focus on efficiency while maintaining the highest emphasis on safety.”

In order to streamline the process, BAMC and Wilford Hall will each take on different roles. BAMC will focus on vaccinating eligible military personnel. Wilford Hall will start off doing the same thing, but will shift its efforts Feb. 3, when it will begin vaccinating civilian TRICARE beneficiaries aged 75 and older.

Vaccinations for eligible 1B military personnel will be coordinated by unit. Civilian beneficiaries can schedule vaccine appointments through TRICARE’s Consult Management Office.

Consult Appointment Management Office
or 1-800-443-2262
6:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Schedule Online

More information is available on JBSA’s COVID-19 website.

Though vaccination eligibility is expanding to additional populations, SAMHS said in a statement that it “remains committed to the completion of Phase 1A vaccinations, which includes personnel in the vaccine program’s top priority tiers: healthcare providers, support staff and service members directly.”

After Phase 1B gets underway, the San Antonio Military Health System will move to include Phase 1C, which covers eligible beneficiaries age 65-74 and beneficiaries age 16 and older at increased risk for severe illness as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.

The specifics of the Defense Department’s vaccine rollout plan are available here.

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Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame
Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame