BAMC will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to all TRICARE beneficiaries ages 65 and older

Vaccines will be given by appointment only, officials say

Senior Airman Marisol Salgado, medical technician, administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Army Capt. Rebecca Parrish, a COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse, Dec. 17, 2020 at Brooke Army Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Parrish was the first BAMC staff member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (U.S. Army photo by Corey Toye)
Senior Airman Marisol Salgado, medical technician, administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Army Capt. Rebecca Parrish, a COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse, Dec. 17, 2020 at Brooke Army Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Parrish was the first BAMC staff member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (U.S. Army photo by Corey Toye) (Brooke Army Medical Center)

SAN ANTONIO – The Brooke Army Medical Center will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to all TRICARE beneficiaries, ages 65 or older, next week by appointment only.

BAMC announced the vaccine appointments on Saturday afternoon, and officials say they were able to open up appointments for beneficiaries ages 75 and older earlier this week.

They were also able to increase capacity to allow more vaccine appointments at the Fort Sam Houston site.

Brig. Gen. Shan K. Bagby, BAMC commanding general, said officials are providing additional appointments ahead of their own projected timeline.

“We are very pleased to extend this care to our higher-risk beneficiaries sooner than originally anticipated, while still administering the vaccine to critical military units and medical personnel,” said Brig. Gen. Bagby.

How to make an appointment

Option 1

  1. Visit the TRICARE Online Patient Portal. This internet site offers beneficiaries 24/7 access to make appointments quickly and conveniently. To access the portal, visit https://www.tricareonline.com and click “Log In” using one of the following credentials: a DS Logon Premium (Level 2), DoD Common Access Card, or Defense Finance and Accounting Services MyPay login. To obtain DS Logon credentials, click “Register.”
  2. To make an appointment, click “Appointments” on the portal home page. Click “Make Appointment” on the top left and follow the instructions. For additional online appointment instructions, click here.

Option 2

  • Call the Consult Appointment Management Office. Beneficiaries can call 210-916-9900 or 1-800-443-2262, Option 8, Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please keep in mind that hold times may be longer than usual and up to 15 minutes. For convenience, it’s recommended to use the TRICARE Online Patient Portal.

The vaccination site, located on Fort Sam Houston’s main post in the Training Support Center, Building 4110, 2536 Garden Avenue, was repurposed to offer beneficiaries “better vaccine access and safety,” officials said.

Maj. Jared Brynildsen, the officer in charge of the BAMC COVID vaccination program, said the facility is large enough to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols.

“This site has enabled BAMC to increase its throughput while offering a convenient location for our beneficiaries,” Brynildsen said. “The larger facility also ensures people can maintain physical distancing throughout the vaccination process.”

Once the vaccine is administered, individuals will need to remain in the vaccination area for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on health history for observation, officials say.

While checking out, patients will be offered the opportunity to book an appointment for their second dose, which is administered at or around the 21-day mark, officials said.

For more information, click here.

Related: South Texas VA to host COVID-19 vaccine event for hundreds of veterans living on San Antonio’s South Side


About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.