JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — The Brooke Army Medical Center COVID-19 Vaccination Site on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston closed Dec. 3 after nearly a year of operations.
The site, which opened in February, was a joint effort to vaccinate up to 2,000 personnel and military beneficiaries per day in a safe environment. During the height of operations, more than 100 personnel worked at the vaccine site.
“Standing up and providing mass vaccinations has been a monumental team effort, supported not only by BAMC personnel across the organization, but by many tenant units across the installation,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Duncan Gillies, BAMC deputy chief of Preventive Medicine and officer in charge of the vaccination site.
Currently, approximately 30 personnel work at the site and vaccinate an average of 150 to 250 patients per day, he said.
Gillies said many lessons were learned and shared as similar vaccine efforts were set up both stateside and overseas.
“This led to the success of not only the Fort Sam Houston COVID Vaccination Site, but numerous other sites across the force,” he said. “We were able to decrease the risk for our service members and beneficiaries from being infected with COVID-19 by increasing protection, helping to maintain the readiness of the force.”
There are a number of reasons why the vaccination site is closing, including the wide availability of the vaccine within the community and subsequent decline in demand at the site. Another factor is a consolidation of resources in preparation for the launch of the new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, in January 2022.
While the site is closing, BAMC will continue to monitor COVID infection rates within the community and adjust operations as needed.
“This site demonstrated our ability to adapt to current conditions quickly and safely,” said BAMC Commanding General Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray. “We are extremely proud of the hard work and tremendous efforts of the vaccination site personnel and leadership, and are grateful to our JBSA partners for their outstanding support. Our community benefited greatly from their efforts.”
Moving forward, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all TRICARE beneficiaries ages 5 and older and booster doses to those 18 and older by appointment only in the Troop Medical Clinic and BAMC Primary, Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology clinics. Beneficiaries can make an online appointment using the TRICARE Online Patient Portal or by calling the appointment line at 210-916-9900.
Federal employees who are NOT beneficiaries can obtain their COVID vaccine from a community resource or at BAMC by appointment only; call 210-916-6551. All beneficiaries should continue to use the appointment line (210-916-9900) or TRICARE Online as noted above.
People can search for their closest pharmacy by visiting https://militaryrx.express-scripts.com/find-pharmacy or by calling 1-877-363-1303. For information on community resources, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/covid-provider-resources/