FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Fort Irwin transitioned to Tier 2, formerly known as Phase 2, of the Department of Defense’s population schema April 7.
Col. Carl Michaud, the National Training Center deputy commander and chief of staff, made the announcement during Fort Irwin’s Live Community Update.
During the update, Col. Nancy Parson, the Weed Army Community Hospital commander, expanded on what Tier 2 means for the Fort Irwin community.
“What that means is that all eligible beneficiaries 16 years and older in both tiers are able to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccines,” she said.
Weed Army Community Hospital will continue to vaccinate individuals in the Tier 1 category who were either unable to receive the vaccine or previously declined and have since opted in.
Individuals from both tiers who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to make an appointment using the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal. The DHA Appointing Portal allows the user to select an available date and time. Beneficiaries can also use the site to cancel appointments, if necessary.
Tier 2 appointments will be available on a first come, first served basis. When dates and times for appointments open, they will be available by going to https://informatics-stage.health.mil/WeedCOVIDApp/.
Maj. Kristina Bartee, Weed ACH’s chief of operations and COVID-19 vaccine coordinator, said there are some common errors that prevent people from making their appointments.
“The most common website errors are people clicking on the blue box on the calendar and not specifically the number for the date, which can make it appear as though there are no appointments available, and people not entering the correct birthday or phone number format,” she explained. “Both errors make it so they can’t submit their appointment request.”
The hospital’s main website, weed-irwin.tricare.mil, has a page with step-by-step directions on how to use the DHA Appointing Portal.
Fort Irwin began vaccinating service members and civilians in the Tier 1 categories in December 2020 with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, but has recently received shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as well.
Individuals who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their first dose cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine for their second dose and vice versa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While both COVID-19 vaccines are given in a two-dose sequence, the age ranges of who can receive the vaccine and wait time in between vaccines differs.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use for those who are 18 years and older and should be given 28 days apart.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use for those who are 16 years and older and should be given 21 days apart.