Fort Hamilton, NY – Soldiers and civilian nurses from Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point came to Fort Hamilton to administer voluntary COVID-19 booster shots to 62 individuals at the Fitness Center here, Feb. 24.
Both Pfizer and Moderna booster shots were available to service members, dependents, DOD civilians and contractors.
“The vaccine and booster is an important effort for the way forward to protect our personnel, their families, and for the care of the communities where we live and work,” said Col. Craig Martin, Fort Hamilton garrison commander. “Thank you to the medical staff who have been supporting the pandemic response and have remained committed to protecting our service members, civilian employees, and families.”
Keller medics helped manage patient flow, check eligibility, pre-filled syringes, and administered shots. Capt. Renzie Rahim, KACH Chief Army Public Health Nursing and the officer-in-charge of the booster campaign at Fort Hamilton, emphasized the importance of getting the booster.
“Getting the booster vaccine is important because studies shared by the CDC have shown that protection against COVID-19 after being vaccinated wanes over time,” said Rahim. “Getting a booster vaccine can stimulate the immune system, which would provide a stronger response, should someone be exposed with the COVID-19 virus, potentially resulting in a faster recovery.”
The FDA amended the emergency use authorization to allow for a voluntary single booster shot, for fully vaccinated individuals with any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older.”
People 18 years and older may get a booster shot based on their individual risks and benefits at least five months after receipt of a primary mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) series; those who received a Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine may get a booster at least two months after. Teens 12 -17 years old may only get a Pfizer booster.
Vaccination is a readiness, health, and welfare priority for the total Army and Rahim hopes that the campaign reassured the Fort Hamilton community that they have continued medical support from KACH
The latest information on the Department of the Army COVID-19 vaccination statistics is available here: https://www.army.mil/article/254099/department_of_the_army_announces_updated_covid_19_vaccination_statistics