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Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Our priority is to protect our Service members, Department of Defense (DOD) civilians and families to safeguard national security capabilities and support the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The DOD has an independent but collaborative program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide COVID-19 vaccines to DOD uniformed service members. This includes active duty, Guard/Reserve, retirees, family members, civilian employees and selected DOD contract personnel. 

All eligible and authorized TRICARE beneficiaries can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as available, at a DOD vaccination site.

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'll need to check availability before showing up. To find out more, please visit www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccines

The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all age 5 years of age and older.  FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines currently available to all U.S. citizens and residents are Pfizer-BioNTech-COMIRNATY®, Moderna-Spikevax, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free.
  • Getting the vaccine can reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalizations and long-term complications for COVID-19.
  • For children, the vaccine can also curb community transmission and reduce disruptions to in-person learning activities.

To learn more, visit the CDC website to get answers to frequently asked questions, see Interim Clinical Considerations, and bust myths about vaccines.

Vaccines for Children

The CDC recommended all children age 5 years and older receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, 2 dose series, 21 days apart.

  • For children ages 5-11: pediatric dose (purple cap)
  • Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized for children under 5 years of age.
  • Visit the CDC website for more info.

If you’re unsure if the vaccine is right for your child, we recommend discussing your child’s medical conditions, including prior reaction to vaccines, with a medical provider. For some immunocompromised children, a third primary series/additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now recommended for children age 5-11.

Booster Doses

The CDC recommends the following individuals get an initial COVID-19 booster:

  • People age 18 years and older who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should receive a 1st booster dose 5 months after dose 2 of the primary series.
  • Children 12 and older who completed the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should receive a 1st booster dose 5 months after dose 2 of the primary series.
  • If you received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine you should get a booster dose 2 months after your initial Janssen dose.

As of May 19, 2022, the CDC recommends that children ages 5-11 receive one booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine, 5 months after completing their primary series. Children ages 5 through 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster 3 months after completing their primary series.

CDC has also expanded eligibility for an additional (second) booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Visit the CDC website to learn more.

Q1:

Who should get an additional (second) booster dose?

A:

On March 29, 2022 the FDA authorized and CDC expanded the eligibility for an additional (second) booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, stating:

  • People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:
    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response
  • Adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • People ages 18–49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first Janssen booster dose

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