Vaccines are among the most important accomplishments in medicine. They have saved more lives around the world than any other medical invention, including antibiotics or surgery. Vaccines help provide a safe and effective means of countering the threats to personal health and military readiness. Taking the COVID-19 vaccine helps protect yourself, your community, and the nation. 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in December 2019, that has since spread around the world. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness or death. The U.S. effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines, called Operation Warp Speed, aims to deliver safe and effective vaccines with the first supply expected to become available before the end of 2020. Supplies will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021. A COVID-19 vaccine for children may not be available until more study data are completed.

Texas Medical Readiness Detachment Soldier Medical Readiness Centers (SMRCs) will offer Scheduled COVID-19 Vaccination Services on Wednesdays. Eligible personnel can contact the nearest SMRC and schedule their vaccination appointment.

 

WHEN:  Each Wednesday between 1100-1900 hrs, Beginning 28 April 2021

 

WHERE: 

  • Camp Mabry, SFC Liz Alderman, (512) 782-5970 (Pfizer Vaccine)

    • 2200 W 35TH ST, BLDG 86, Austin, TX 78703 

  • Grand Prairie, SSG Zachary Garrett (512) 782-5001, 735-4511 (Moderna Vaccine)

    • 1013 Lakecrest, BLDG 1013, Drive Grand Prairie, TX 75051 

  • Ellington Field,  SSG Megan Vasichko (512) 782-5001, 789-4113 (Moderna Vaccine)

    • 510 Ellington Field, BLDG 1182, RM 105, Houston, TX 77034

  • Camp Bullis, SSG Rolando Rodriguezibanez (512) 782-5001, ext. 7854401 (Moderna Vaccine)

    • 21200 Camp Bullis Road, BLDG 5044, San Antonio, TX 78257

WHY: Texas Medical Readiness Detachment provides the following services at these SMRCs:

 

- Scheduled COVID-19 vaccinations for TMD Personnel and eligible dependents

- All appointments must be scheduled to ensure appropriate number of vaccines are available and to prevent wastage of these critically scarce vaccine dose.

- Vaccines will only be administered on Wednesdays

- Appointments will include 1st and 2nd dose vaccinations

- Camp Mabry will offer only Pfizer vaccines

- Grand Prairie, Ellington Field, and Camp Bullis will offer only Moderna vaccines.

- SMRCs will not offer other medical readiness services on Wednesdays during Vaccine distribution hours.

 

Covid 19 Vaccine Document.

For more medical information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, contact your healthcare provider or visit:

 

 

BLUF: In general, Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Muslim, and Jewish scholarship and statements support receiving the current Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. 

Choosing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination is a personal decision that may involve different considerations across our population. Below is some faith-based material for consideration regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. This is not an endorsement of these positions, nor a recommendation. 

On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a memorandum addressing the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations, stating that the reasons to accept the vaccinations are “sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines. In addition, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community.

In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”  Further, the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities states, “neither Pfizer nor Moderna used an abortion-derived cell line in the development or production of the vaccine. However, such a cell line was used to test the efficacy of both vaccines. Thus, while neither vaccine is completely free from any use of abortion-derived cell lines, in these two cases the use is very remote from the initial evil of the abortion…one may receive any of the clinically recommended vaccines in good conscience with the assurance that reception of such vaccines does not involve immoral cooperation in abortion.”

In response to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement on March 2, 2021, stating “if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen…While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm, again, that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.” 
 

 

Currently, there is no one unifying ethical opinion from the Protestant Christian perspective. Concerns over the COVID-19 vaccines relate to pro-life reservations about the use of aborted fetal cell lines in vaccine research and production. However, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be “ethically uncontroversial” by pro-life policy organization, The Charlotte Lozier Institute.  Additionally, the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission held that Christians who use treatments and vaccines that were developed using such fetal cell lines, even if the cells originated in aborted fetal tissue, cannot be held morally culpable. 
 

Ethical considerations on the COVID-19 vaccine from the Jewish faith appear to focus more on whether it is ethically acceptable for Jewish individuals to participate in vaccination. In general, the answer is yes.

The above is clearly not exhaustive of all religious groups and positions. Should you have further questions or wish to discuss further, please reach out to the Chaplains Office at 512-782-1525, or via email at jeremy.s.stirm.mil@mail.mil or  js.pentagon.dom.list.js-chaplain@mail.mil at 703-571-9495. 
 

On December 21, 2020, The Muslim American Society issued a recommendation on COVID-19 vaccines, stating “the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do NOT contain porcine products. They do NOT contain stem cell products or dead fetal remains.  Additionally, the American Muslim Jurists of North America (AMJA) stated the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “do not rely on such [fetal cell tissue] technologies, and thus, there is no reason to doubt their permissibility because of this concern.” 
 

The DoD initially expects a limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccine before the end of 2020, and rolling delivery
to MTFs and other health care facilities after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the vaccine for use.
When the vaccine becomes available, DoD will follow the CDC’s prioritization guidelines (framework) for distribution.
Talk to your provider or local MTF for more details about when vaccine will become available.

Source: DHA-IHD. DoD COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Planning Update Newsletter. 4 November 2020.

Drugs and vaccines have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 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.

Source: MHS Communications Plan. COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) Prevention – Vaccination Questions and Answers.

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

Source: CDC. COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules.

Early COVID-19 vaccines will be given in a two-dose series separated by 21 or 28 days, depending on the product. Vaccines from different manufacturers will NOT be interchangeable. The vaccine must receive the same vaccine for both doses.

Source: DHA-IHD. DoD COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Planning Update Newsletter. 4 November 2020.

All vaccine recipients will be provided a copy of the CDC 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 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.

Source: Draft DHA-IPM 20-xxx . DoD Coronavirus Disease (COVID)-19 Vaccination Program (CVP) Implementation

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.

Source: CDC. Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ vaccines/faq.html

Masks and physical distancing will still be necessary until a large proportion of the population is vaccinated and the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection. Global and national public health authorities are expected to continue to recommend wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, for everyone, until pandemic risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced.

Source: MHS Communications Plan. COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) Prevention – Vaccination Questions and Answers

The risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 increases with age, with the greatest risk among those aged 85 or older. Adults of any age with the following conditions are also at increased risk of severe illness: Cancer; chronic kidney disease, COPD; heart disease; weakened immune system; obesity; pregnancy; sickle cell disease; smoking; and type 2 diabetes mellitus. COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there are limited data and information about the impact of many underlying medical conditions and whether they increase risk. Talk with your provider about your individual risk factors and appropriate precautions.

Sources: CDC. Older Adults. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html CDC. People with Certain Medical Conditions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/ people-with-medical-conditions.html

DoD is confident in the stringent regulatory process and requirements of the FDA. 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, DoD will be monitoring and tracking vaccine reports of vaccine side effects through various surveillance activities both internal and external to the DoD.

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 these populations in preparation for the additional vaccination efforts following vaccination of healthcare workers.

Yes, based on DoD 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 (MTF) are eligible to receive the vaccine at a DoD MTF. TRICARE beneficiaries who receive care at DoD MTFs on a space-available basis can alternately receive vaccine through the local civilian jurisdiction.

To the greatest extent possible, beneficiaries in priority groups who are enrolled at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) should come to the MTF to be vaccinated. This will ensure the maximum number of vaccine opportunities allocated to jurisdictions other than DoD are available for the non-DoD population. TRICARE beneficiaries who receive care at DoD MTFs on a space-available basis can alternately receive vaccine through the local civilian jurisdiction.

Absolutely not. The mRNA can’t enter the nucleus of our cells where DNA resides. Just like our own body’s mRNA does not change our DNA. mRNA is used to tell our body how to make a protein from the amino acids a process called translation. It is then degraded over a period of
time.  

No this is not a live virus vaccine and as discussed above, it only produces a protein from the virus using our body’s own machinery

No! This is social media misinformation. There is no evidence or mechanistic reason this would occur. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is recommending this vaccine for women of childbearing age.  There is also no reason to believe the vaccine would cause infertility in men either. We don’t know what the long-term fertility impact of actual infection will be on fertility. The virus has been found in both ovarian and testicular tissue.

This vaccine is recommended regardless of the above due to the fact there is a clear increased risk to the mother and the fetus with COVID‐19 infection. This is not a live virus vaccine. Pregnant women who contract the virus have a greater likelihood of ending up in the ICU and appear to have a greater likelihood of miscarriage. This appears to be higher than with influenza infection. The trials did not include pregnant women but there were a small number of women who became pregnant without complications. There are ongoing studies but it appears to be safe and The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is recommending this vaccine for women regardless of pregnancy status when it is recommended for them based on phasing.  We recommend women consult with their obstetrician.

No, the vaccine does not contain a tracking device. 

No, this is a synthetic vaccine not produced from human or fetal tissues.

For a better ethical understanding of the vaccine, talk to your faith-based organization, your unit chaplain, or visit our resources tab.

The vaccine does not affect the results of the standard nasal swab PCR or antigen tests but antibody testing may be positive. Therefore, if COVID symptoms occur after vaccination you can still have testing to determine the presence of infection using the nasal swabs.

No, this is a voluntary vaccine. The preponderance of the evidence shows this to be safe and effective at dramatically reducing symptomatic infections. The opinion amongst national and local experts is that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.