JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 01, 2021) – Brooke Army Medical Center relocated its vaccine operations to a new location on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort San Houston in February to safely accommodate a greater number of daily vaccinations.
The Fort Sam Houston COVID Vaccine Site is located in Building 4110, 2536 Garden Ave. The new location is by appointment only, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We made the change to this facility because of the availability of space for social distancing and it can accommodate our desired throughput,” said Army Col. Elizabeth M. Stanley, chief of the Department of Preventive Medicine and officer in charge of the COVID Vaccination Clinic. “It will enable us to increase the number of vaccinations per day in a safe and efficient manner.”
Currently, the site is accepting appointments for Phase 1a and 1b. Service members and civilian employees in those categories who wish to make an appointment must do so through their unit leadership. The new site is currently accepting appointments for beneficiaries age 65 and older. Eligible beneficiaries 65 and older can use the TRICARE Online website, https://www.tricareonline.com, or call the CAMO line at 210-916-9900 to make an appointment..
Leaders worked to put a plan in place to ensure a safe and more efficient vaccination process.
Individuals who come to the site for their vaccination will enter through a main door, their appointment will be confirmed and they will be pre-screened for COVID symptoms before proceeding, explained Army Maj. Jared H. Brynildsen, BAMC’s COVID vaccine program officer in charge.
“Right now, it’s by appointment only due to the massive amount of people we are expecting,” Brynildsen said.
Brynildsen said patients will be kept a minimum of six-feet apart the entire time. Staff at the vaccination clinic will ensure patients are in socially-distanced chairs and administer the vaccine while the patients are seated. Patients will then wait for the required 15 to 30 minutes, depending on health history, after being vaccinated, and then check out with staff at the front of the main room in the facility.
“This is a one-stop shop,” said Cheryl Crochran, BAMC’s telecommunication officer for Information Management Division and infrastructure manager for network operations. “So, they’ll check in, vaccinate, then they’ll exit with their second appointment scheduled.”
Patients who come in for their first vaccination will be scheduled their appointment for the second dose while they are at the clinic. Crochran and her staff have ensured the computer systems at the vaccination site are connected with the systems at BAMC. She said the team has set up more than 40 computers, both wireless and wired connections to update patients’ records.
Brynildsen said the overall effort to prepare and run the new clinic is the result of a strong partnership among several organizations. BAMC personnel, along with personnel from the 502nd Air Base Wing, U.S. Army North and the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence on JBSA Fort Sam Houston worked together to get the facility ready, and will continue working together throughout the life of the clinic. In addition, volunteers from BAMC’s Volunteer Services are on hand to provide assistance.
Personnel should get vaccinated “to protect not only themselves and their family, but also to help get us all to a place where we can continue with our life in a more pre-COVID manner,” said Stanley.