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On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. On Jan. 31, 2020, the secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States and announced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The current epidemic, which originated in mainland China, has demonstrated the capacity of COVID-19 to spread globally. While supporting other government agencies’ response to the COVID-19 threat, the Department of the Air Force is responding appropriately to protect the health of the force and maintain operational readiness.
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A: The goal is for everyone to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities of the vaccine are available. Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is currently limited, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments on who should be vaccinated first.
- Each state has its own plan for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. You can contact your military hospital or state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.
A: If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
- If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should not get the second dose.
- If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.
A: It’s still important to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing masks, washing hands, restriction of movement, and physical distancing. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you’ll be. This is true even after you get your vaccine.
A: Yes. The intent of the vaccine is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’ll still need to wear appropriate face coverings and practice physical distancing.
- Initially, we will not have enough vaccine for everyone who wants it and the COVID-19 pandemic risks will continue. We will continue to recommend wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, for everyone, until the pandemic risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced.
A: Everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine will be tracked through existing medical record reporting systems.
A: People who are offered the first-available vaccine are considered to be in groups that are most in need of COVID-19 protection. Vaccinated people will be protecting themselves, as well as their families and all people with whom they interact.
- Evaluation of the first-available vaccine will continue, even after its pre-licensure release. The release of other vaccines cannot be fully predicted, so people who are offered the first-available vaccine are encouraged to receive it.
A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic. It may be an effective way to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19, and it may help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do catch the virus.
- Getting vaccinated also protects the health of the people around you—especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
A: Each location may be at different phases of the DoD Population Schema. To check vaccine availabilities, contact your local military hospital or clinic.
- Continue following @TRICARE for more information. Visit your military hospital's website or social media to stay informed about their vaccination process and availability.
A: The availability of the vaccine may vary by location. Eventually, you’ll be able to get the vaccine at:
• Your local military hospital or clinic.
• Your civilian provider.
• TRICARE network pharmacies.
• TRICARE non-network providers or TRICARE non-network pharmacies.
- If you visit a non-network provider or pharmacy, you may need to pay a cost-share based on your plan, and file a claim for reimbursement. The vaccine itself is offered at no cost, but there may be a cost based on your plan for an office visit or if you require follow-on care. Wherever you eventually receive your vaccination, please remember you need to check availability before showing up.
A: No. Service members who are not able to access a DoD vaccination site and elect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through non-DoD channels must provide documentation of receipt of the vaccination to their unit for documentation in appropriate medical readiness systems.
- Dependents of active duty service members, retirees, and other eligible DoD beneficiaries are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and encouraged to access COVID-19 vaccines through existing processes at military treatment facilities or through the private sector care component of TRICARE.
A: Each military hospital or clinic may have a different process in place for signing up to get the vaccine. We encourage you to check with your local military hospital or clinic.
A: TRICARE will cover the cost of the vaccine from any location, but if you go to a civilian provider, there may be a cost for an office visit based on your plan. Those who receive their vaccine through a civilian pharmacy should not be billed. Active duty service members will require a referral from their primary care manager to get the vaccine from a TRICARE-authorized civilian provider, but a referral is not required to get the vaccine from a civilian pharmacy.
- To learn more, visit: https://tricare.mil/HealthWellness/HealthyLiving/Coronavirus/COVID-Vaccine
A: If you've already received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can sign up for v-safe. V-safe is a smart-phone based tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
A: All vaccine recipients will be provided a copy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card after receipt of the vaccine. It is recommended that the second-dose appointment be made at the time of initial vaccinations, or instructions provided on procedures for a second dose follow-up. If a vaccine recipient has a smartphone, it is recommended that they take a photo of the vaccination record card as a back-up copy and set a calendar reminder for receipt of the second dose.
A: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable with each other. Therefore, you should take all necessary planning steps to ensure you are at a location that has the same vaccine product as your first dose. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that in truly exceptional circumstances in which the first dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA vaccine series.
A: Within certain limits, military members who incur or aggravate an injury, disease or illness in a qualifying duty status are covered for that episode of care under the Line of Duty authority. Determinations on any benefits from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) will be made by the VHA. All individuals vaccinated with a Food and Drug Administration-authorized/approved COVID-19 vaccine may be eligible for compensation for adverse reactions under other programs, including: the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) program, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), applicable Workers Compensation authorities and other sources of care for which eligible (e.g., at Federally Qualified Health Centers in their community).
A: You’ll get a copy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card when you get the first dose of the vaccine. It is recommended that the second-dose appointment be made at the time of initial vaccine, or you get instructions about procedures for second dose follow-up. If you have a smartphone, it is recommended that you take a photo of the vaccination record card as a back-up copy and set a calendar reminder for receipt of the second dose.
A. DoD takes the safety and security of its personnel very seriously, to include protecting Personally Identifiable Information. This information will not be shared with the public. At this time, local units are not cleared to release vaccination numbers by population tier or group or discuss "rates" of "acceptance." but that local units may release numbers of vaccines delivered and vaccines administered.
A: Yes. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine until you are well
A: Because the duration of immunity from natural infection with COVID-19 is unknown, vaccine may have value in protecting people who have already had the disease. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Talk with your provider if you have been previously infected with COVID-19.
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications - such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies - get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.
A: If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you should not get the second dose. Talk to your healthcare provider.
A: COVID-19 vaccine series should be administered alone, with a minimum of 14 days before or after receiving other vaccines. The exception would be situations where the benefits of vaccination are deemed to outweigh the potential unknown risks of vaccination co-administration. For example, needing a tetanus, measles or hepatitis A shot during an outbreak.
A: Each potential recipient of COVID-19 vaccine will receive a vaccine-specific Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet for Recipients from the FDA, which will provide the following information:
- Basic information on COVID-19, symptoms, and what to discuss with a health care provider before vaccination
- Who should and should not receive the vaccine
- That recipients have the choice to receive the vaccine
- Dosage and vaccine series information
- Risks and benefits of the vaccine
- An explanation of what an EUA is and why it is issued
- Any approved available alternatives for preventing COVID-19
- Additional resources
A: The COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized are given in a 2-dose series. The vaccines are NOT interchangeable and a vaccine recipient’s second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose. Arrangements for scheduling a second dose and setting a reminder can be made while you are getting your first dose. The series does not have to be restarted if there is greater time than recommended between the first and second dose. The two COVID-19 vaccines currently available are administered in two doses, either 21 (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first dose. Check with your local military hospital or clinic to see which product they are administering to see how long between each dose.
A: Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, but experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.
A: You should always get your required second dose as soon as possible within the established parameters since there is currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA vaccines administered beyond the stated windows.
A: If you have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, you should defer getting a COVID-19 vaccine for 90 days.
A: There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not correlated with infertility. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines. They contain a small piece of the SARS-COV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-COV-2. This protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
A: The first supply of the vaccine is limited. The first vaccines will be given in phases. The first phases will be for:
- Individuals providing direct medical care
- Individuals maintaining essential installation functions
- Deploying forces
- Individuals at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19
- Adults age 75 and older
Vaccines will be offered to other TRICARE beneficiaries as more vaccines are available and after priority individuals have been vaccinated.
A: Each military hospital or clinic may be in different phases of the DoD Population Schema based on local availability. Please check with your local facility to find when you can get it.
A. DoD follows the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations as much as possible. The CDC recommendations, in addition to input from service leaders, United States Coast Guard, and Joint Staff resulted in the current DoD priorities for vaccination.
A. The DoD vaccination efforts are data-driven and informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vulnerable beneficiaries, including retirees, will be offered the vaccine in accordance with the highest phase for which he or she qualifies within the DoD priorities and CDC guidance.
A: Service members on active duty and in the Selected Reserve (including National Guard personnel) are eligible and encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccines at military medical treatment facilities or other DoD vaccination sites, as identified by the military departments, and within the schema prioritization. Service members who are not able to access a DoD vaccination site and elect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through non-DoD channels must provide documentation of receipt of the vaccination to their unit for documentation in appropriate medical readiness systems.
A: The Selected Reserve have been accounted for in vaccination planning and we are working with the Reserve and National Guard on this effort as well. As more vaccine becomes available and we move into the next operational phase, additional sites will receive the vaccine.
A: Dependents of active duty members who are in a high-risk category and at least 16 years of age may be offered COVID-19 vaccine when the DoD immunization site is offering vaccine to high-risk individuals in the appropriate age group. Those ≥ 16 years but ≤ 18 years of age may only receive Pfizer vaccine per the Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization. At this time, not every immunization site has Pfizer vaccine. Therefore, high-risk dependents in this age group may need to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the community. All high-risk beneficiaries are encouraged to contact your local military hospital or clinic to learn when vaccine may be available and how to schedule an appointment.
A: The current vaccine trials have not studied the safety and efficacy for children and manufactures are not currently asking the Food and Drug Administration for authorization to vaccinate children.
A: The DoD will offer vaccine to civilian and contractor staff with direct patient care and to those who normally receive vaccine for occupational health purposes, as authorized in accordance with DoD regulation. This may include some of those working on installations or depots or arsenals, and we are continuing to refine guidance for these populations.
A: Yes, based on Department of Defense prioritization. While there is limited vaccine availability, vaccination distribution prioritization will focus on those providing direct medical care, maintaining essential national security and installation functions, deploying forces, and those beneficiaries at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. TRICARE beneficiaries empaneled at a DoD military treatment facility are eligible to receive the vaccine there. TRICARE beneficiaries who receive care at military treatment facilities on a space-available basis can alternately receive vaccine through the local civilian jurisdiction, when available.
A. The DoD is implementing a standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing, and administering the COVID-19 vaccine through a phased approach to all DoD uniformed service members, both the active and Selected Reserve components, including members of the National Guard; dependents; retirees; civilian employees, and selected DoD contract personnel as authorized in accordance with DoD regulation. Right now the vaccine is limited – it’s only available at some military hospitals and clinics and it’s being distributed in phases. Eventually, it will be made available to everyone, based on the DoD's approved population schema.
A: Each military hospital and clinic is vaccinating according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s priorities and DoD’s population schema. Each location may be at different phases of the DoD Population Schema based on availability of the vaccine and the total population they serve. You should contact your local military hospital or clinic, visit their website or follow them on social media to see when they are ready for you to be vaccinated. Also, you can check with your local pharmacy. You can get the COVID-19 vaccine at any pharmacy, network or non-network, at no cost to you. Keep in mind TRICARE does NOT cover access to other vaccines (e.g. Flu, Shingles, etc.) at non-network pharmacies.
A: DoD civilian employees, who are not otherwise eligible DoD beneficiaries, are eligible to receive the vaccine, and select contractor personnel who usually receive influenza vaccines as part of a DoD occupational safety and health program (e.g., health care workers, maintenance depot workers), and who are not otherwise eligible DoD beneficiaries, may be offered COVID-19 vaccines at DoD vaccination sites. Follow-on care (other than the administration of a second vaccine dose) will be provided through such individuals' existing health care plans or personal health care providers.
A: DoD's allocation may be offered, and administered at DoD vaccination sites to employees of DoD contractors directly supporting the DoD on DoD installations or in an operational environment, in accordance with the attached DoD COVID-19 vaccine population schema (e.g. health care providers/support personnel, personnel preparing to deploy), and the terms of applicable contracts.
A: In certain situations, DoD contractors who are stationed or employed outside the United States and their accompanying dependents, when residing in the same household, are authorized on a space-available basis to be vaccinated in accordance with the DoD prioritization schema. To qualify as "accompanying dependents," there must be authorization from the sponsoring DoD entity that authorizes the accompaniment of dependents. This authorization may be pursuant to the contract or other written documentation.
A: You can go to any civilian pharmacy (network or non-network) to get the vaccine, but even there the vaccine is being administered based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DoD population schema. If you go to any doctor other than your primary care manager, you’ll need a referral. If you get the vaccine from a civilian pharmacy or provider, you need to make sure the information is added to your health record. You may also want to check with your unit – they may be working out some way for you to get the vaccine.
A: If you’re eligible to get care at the VA, you should be able to get the vaccine there too. We recommend that you contact your local VA facility to learn more.
A: personnel who previously declined vaccination, are still eligible and able to receive a vaccine, even if the vaccination site has moved on to vaccinating personnel in subsequent population tiers.
A: No. The vaccine is offered on a voluntary basis. Priority populations are highly encouraged to receive the vaccine. When formally licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, a vaccine may become mandatory for military personnel, as is the case for the influenza vaccine.
A: When a vaccine product becomes available under pre-licensure status, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization, recipients have the option to accept or refuse the EUA product. The Department of Defense does not independently have the authority to mandate an EUA vaccine to service members. However, The President of the United States may, under certain circumstances, waive the option for members of the armed forces to accept or refuse administration of an EUA product. To date, the Department of Defense has not requested a waiver from the President to mandate a COVID-19 vaccine issued under an EUA to service members.
A: No. The DoD supports the option for service members and other beneficiaries to voluntarily accept or refuse an Emergency Use Authorization product. However, similar to the civilian community, all individuals with an indication to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are highly encouraged to receive it. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is issued Food and Drug Administration licensure or if the President of the United States waives the option for members of the armed forces to accept or refuse administration of an EUA product, the vaccine may become mandatory for military personnel, as is the case for the influenza vaccine.
A. The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will supply COVID-19 vaccines to retail pharmacies in phases. As part of the initial phase, 1 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be sent to a select group of pharmacies. These pharmacies will then administer vaccinations to those who are eligible. Some pharmacies have already begun offering a limited amount of the vaccine through this program. Other pharmacies are set to begin offering doses soon. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “As vaccine supply increases, more retail locations will be added.”
A. Pharmacies that are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program may vary by state and territory. Pharmacies participating in the program may include TRICARE network pharmacies and non-network pharmacies. You can find a list of pharmacies that are currently participating in your area on the CDC website.
A. Yes. Per the Deputy Secretary Defense Memo, Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance dated 7 December 2020, service members in the Selected Reserve, including National Guard are eligible and encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccines at military medical treatment facilities or other DoD vaccination sites.
A: No. Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 13962, no one will be billed for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Military treatment facilities will not charge for the vaccine or vaccine administration.
A: Yes. Reserve Component service members can utilize local civil vaccination programs. The goal is to rapidly and safely vaccinate as many service members in order to build COVID-19 immunity across the force. Reserve Component service members should not wait for DoD vaccination opportunities if they have earlier access to civil vaccination programs. Reserve Component service members must report their vaccination status to their chain of command.
A: The services will determine the duty-status and other administrative procedures for their Reserve Component service members receiving the vaccination. Line of Duty questions should be referred to DoDI 1241.01.
A: Selected Reserve service members who are TRICARE beneficiaries will be covered to receive the vaccine from a retail pharmacy. Selected Reserve service members who are not TRICARE beneficiaries will have to use their existing civilian insurance if they choose to receive the vaccination from a retail pharmacy.
A: The DoD Population Schema is the priority list of when DoD service members receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The schema priorities are based upon CDC recommendations and include Reserve Component service members in the Selected Reserve and National Guard. There isn’t one tier for all Selected Reserve personnel. Instead the tiers are based on prioritized categories of personnel because of job function, deployment status or risk categories.
A: No, however it is encouraged.
A: Drugs and vaccines have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that only safe and effective products are available to the American public. During public health emergencies, when there is good scientific reason to believe that a product is safe and is likely to treat or prevent disease, the FDA may authorize its use through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), even if definitive proof of the effectiveness of the drug or vaccine is not known. FDA pre-licensure approval is considered for treatment or prevention of diseases that are very serious.
A: Vaccines and therapeutics to prevent and treat diseases are developed in stages. In Phase 1 Trials, researchers test an experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people for the first time. In Phase 2 Trials, the experimental drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety. In Phase 3 Trials, the experimental study drug or treatment is given to very large groups of people. Researchers confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the experimental drug or treatment to be used safely. Manufactures are required to submit their raw data for the Food and Drug Administration to review. Safety, immune response, and efficacy data from the trial stages are submitted to the FDA before they are authorized for use and distribution.
A: Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications.
A: We do not know how long protection will last following vaccination but it will be critically important to measure long-term protection (at least two years) in the phase 3 trials and in other groups prioritized for early vaccination. We are still learning about the duration of protection following infection with COVID-19 and it is too early to tell how long protection will last.
A: No, it is not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines. Vaccines against COVID-19 use inactivated virus, parts of the virus, or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
A: DoD is confident in the stringent regulatory process and requirements of the Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are required to submit their raw data for the FDA to review. Safety, immune response, and efficacy data from the trial stages are submitted to the FDA before they are authorized for use and distribution. Per FDA requirements, the DoD will be monitoring and tracking vaccine reports of vaccine side effects through various surveillance activities both internal and external to the DoD.
A. The vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. For most people, these side effects will last no more than a day or two. Having these side effects doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. If you have questions about how you’re feeling after your vaccination, contact your provider or call the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line. It’s rare, but if you have a severe allergic reaction, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. The hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine.
A. All suspected serious or unexpected vaccine-related adverse events must be reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone can report to VAERS (https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html). The majority of VAERS reports are sent in by vaccine recipients, health care providers, and vaccine manufacturers. Vaccine recipients are encouraged to seek the help of their health care professional in filling out the VAERS form.
A: According to CDC, scientists are working to learn more about variants of the virus, and more studies are needed to understand how variants affect existing therapies and vaccines.
A: No doses beyond the 2-dose primary series are recommended at this time.
A: You should receive a second Pfizer vaccine dose 21 days after receiving your first one. In rare and exceptional situations, you can get your second vaccine dose 17 days after your first vaccine dose, but in most circumstances you should wait until the 21st day.
A: The position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that the second dose for mRNA vaccines should be at the timelines identified in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). When this is not possible, the CDC states the second dose administration may be scheduled up to 42 days after the first dose.
A: No, you should not skip your second vaccine dose. You should take all necessary steps to ensure you are at a location that has the same vaccine product as your first dose. mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not interchange with each other. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in truly exceptional circumstances in which the first dose vaccine’s producer cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA vaccine series.
A: You should wait 28 days between your first Moderna vaccine dose and second dose. In rare and exceptional situations, you can get your second Moderna vaccine 24 days after your first vaccine dose, but under most circumstances you should wait until the 28th day.
A. The position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that the second dose for mRNA vaccines should be at the timelines identified in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). When this is not possible the CDC states the second dose administration may be scheduled up to 42 days after the first dose.
A: TRICARE will cover the cost of the vaccine from any location, but if you go to a civilian provider, there may be a cost for an office visit based on your plan.
A: The vaccine itself is offered at no cost, but there may be a cost based on your plan for an office visit (if received from a non-network provider, for example) or if you require follow on care.
A: TRICARE will cover the vaccine for all beneficiaries regardless of plan. The vaccine itself is offered at no cost, but depending on where you get it, there may be a cost for an office visit or if you require follow on care. That cost would be the same for any other office visit under TRICARE Select.
A: Military treatment facilities will offer the COVID vaccine to TRICARE For Life beneficiaries by following CDC guidance for those age and risk categories that are eligible for the vaccine, but you may choose to get the vaccine through your regular Medicare provider when the vaccine becomes available to your category.
A: The vaccination sites were selected by the DoD’s COVID-19 Task Force from sites recommended by the military services and U.S. Coast Guard to best support several criteria: anticipated supply chain requirements for initially approved vaccines (i.e. ultra-cold, bulk storage facility); sizeable local population to facilitate rapid vaccine administration to priority personnel across the military services; and sufficient necessary medical personnel to administer vaccines and actively monitor vaccine recipients after initial and second-dose administration.
A: The distribution process is phase-driven to safely protect the DoD from COVID-19 as quickly as possible. In the initial phase, a limited number of sites were selected to receive vaccine. Initial sites also allow DoD to validate distribution and administration processes and structures and guide senior leader decisions to increase distribution and administration as vaccine manufacturing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocation permits. Initial site performance will guide follow-on site identification and the scaling of DoD distribution and administration processes.
A: The DoD will ensure the vaccine is available for all beneficiaries. Planning is ongoing to ensure the widest distribution to our geographically dispersed population. During initial distribution, the vaccine will be primarily directed to locations with high concentration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s phase 1A medical/support personnel and locations that have the capability to store vaccine in monitored freezers in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements.
A: Most shipments will be shipped directly from the manufacture to the vaccination site. The Department of Defense will continuously monitor threats in concert with the whole of nation COVID-19 response to ensure security of the COVID-19 vaccine. Secure handling provisions are in place; COVID-19 vaccines will be stored properly to prevent unauthorized access and/or threat.
A: U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is the lead for DoD support to CVCs. Inquiries should be referred to NORAD-USNORTHCOM PA at COMM 719-554-6889, DSN 692-6889. After duty hours NORAD-USNORTHCOM PA duty officer at COMM 719-217-3716
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S Air Force
U.S. Department of Defense
DOD Force Health Protection Guidance
The White House