Jan. 28, 2021 COVID-19 Vaccine Information Town Hall Q&As

Q: How does COVID-19 vaccine interact with heart & other medications?

A: Each individual person’s prescription list should be addressed through a conversation with their primary care manager.

Q: Can TRICARE for life beneficiaries receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: All TRCIARE beneficiaries are eligible to receive the vaccine as administered by the Wright-Patterson Medical Center.

Q: How will the Wright-Patterson Medical Center communicate to beneficiaries it their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: The Medical center will communicate each vaccine phase to beneficiaries through phone calls, social media, print media and other means to ensure that everyone who wishes to receive the vaccine has an opportunity.

Q: Can a beneficiary receive the vaccine anywhere at no cost?

A: If the COVID-19 vaccine dose was purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars it will be given to the American public at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone.

Q: If someone take vitamins and herbs can it affect the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: For medication concerns, even over the counter, it is best to address those questions with your primary care manager.

Q: Can the Wright-Patterson Medical Center guarantee the availability of the second COVID-19 vaccine dose?

A: The Wright-Patterson Medical Center will provide the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, the vaccine supply the Medical Center receiver’s is in line with the number of first COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

Q: Does COVID-19 vaccine protect against all strains?

A: To learn more about variants of the disease please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/scientific-brief-emerging-variants.html

Q: If someone is A-symptomatic and they don’t know you have COVID-19, is it safe to get vaccine?

A: According to the CDC, “Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.”

Q: How will vaccines that aren't used for that day's schedule be distributed, is there a way to be put on a standby list?

A: The Wright-Patterson Medical Center does not have a stand-by list. The Immunizations team at the Medical Center works diligently to make sure that the correct amount of vaccine matches the projected doses administered each day.

Q: Is there any evidence that antibodies created from the vaccine can be transferred to a fetus through the placenta in a pregnant patient or through breast milk to a baby in breastfeeding patients?

A: According to the CDC, “People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines.  No data are available yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated.”

Q: When phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution scheme opens, will calls be made to beneficiaries or will they be able to show up since everyone is eligible?

A: It is yet to be determined how phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration plan will occur. It is possible that I may become a walk-up service once we enter Phase 2, but that is not known yet. Please keep in mind that no matter the issuing plan proper ID will still be required.

Q: Even though the phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is unknown still, is there an estimate of a timeline when beneficiaries can expect it to open, spring, summer, fall, etc?

A: Unfortunately, the Wright-Patterson Medical Center cannot provide a timeline as it is dependent on the supply from the DOD.

Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine available to all active duty dependents?

A: Active Duty dependents who are TRICARE beneficiaries are eligible to receive the vaccine as administered by the Wright-Patterson Medical Center once their phase of vaccination is reached. The Pfizer vaccine is recommend for children 16 years or older, the Moderna vaccine is recommended for persons 18 years or older. This is based on who was included in the clinical trials.

Q: During the Jan. 27 town hall it was said the only COVID-19 vaccine on base is Pfizer. Will it stay that way or does the base anticipate getting the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as well?

A: At this time the Wright-Patterson Medical Center only expects to receive Pfizer from the DOD; however, when vaccine supplies is more plentiful that could change.

Q: Is it safe for two senior-aged people (63 and 87 years old) who are both vaccinated but living apart in separate households, to get together and visit each other?

A: Even after vaccination, safety practices such as physical distancing and mask wearing are still recommended. According to the CDC, “Experts do not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. CDC and other experts are studying herd immunity and will provide more information as it is available.”

Q: Has there been any discussion in the medical community about when children can expect to get their COVID-19 vaccination?

A: Currently, there are clinical trials being conducted with children, but that is all the information the Medical Center can provide at this time.

Q: What happens if someone is unable to get their second COVID-19 vaccine dose according to the guidelines? Is there a max window of opportunity to get the second COVID-19 vaccine dose?

A: Recipients of the initial COVID-19 vaccine dose should try their best to receive the second COVID-19 vaccine dose as close as they can to recommended date, after their recommended time has passed (21 days for Pfizer, 28 days for Moderna), as this was how the clinical trials were conducted. It is important to note that there has not been a maximum time window identified so it is recommended that someone get their second dose whenever they have the opportunity.

Q: There was an article on Medical News Today about the new Eli LIlly monoclonal antibody combo treatment. Can the Medical Center give more information about this antibody infusion, and the availability?

A: The Wright-Patterson Medical Center does not have any information on this question at this time.

Q: How does someone know if they’re a COVID-19 carrier or not? Is there a certain age that are carriers?

A: Unfortunately, someone does not know they are a carrier until they start showing symptoms or receive a positive COVID-19 test result.  The COVID-19 infection has been documented in all ages, from infants to adults over 100 years of age.

Q: Can household members get the COVID-19 vaccine on base if they are a civilian?

A: At this time the Wright-Patterson Medical Center is only servicing military members, retirees, DOD contractors who work on WPAFB, and base DOD employees. The insurance carrier does not matter in this case. There are services at the county level if you do not fit into those categories, please visit Ohio.gov for vaccine locations.

Q: If someone had a liver transplant and takes an immunosuppressant drug, how does this impact the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Medication questions are best addressed through a conversation with their primary care manager.

Q: If a person in the same household get the COVID-19 vaccine, will that person infect someone else in the household that hasn’t received the COVIS-19 vaccine?

A: The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause a COVID-19 infection.

Q: When does the Wright-Patterson Medical Center expect people under 65 with comorbidities such as type II diabetes to be offered the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: DOD Phases 1A and 1B are currently being vaccinated. If someone has those specifics they you are likely included in Phase 1C. The Medical Center cannot provide a timeline as to when 1C will begin as it is dependent on the COVID-19 vaccine supply from the DOD.

Q: Once someone receives their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, when it comes time for the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, will the COVID-19 vaccine be available? It is being reported on news outlets that there are national logistical problems and there will not be enough doses available.

A: Yes, the Wright-Patterson Medical Center will provide the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, the COVID-19 vaccine supply the Medical Center receives is in line with the number of first doses administered.

Q: What is the base’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule for high risk beneficiaries such as pregnant or nursing women?

A: DOD Phases 1A and 1B are currently being vaccinated. This information indicates they would be included in Phase 1C. The Medical Center cannot provide a timeline as to when 1C will begin as it is dependent on the supply COVID-19 vaccine from the DOD.

Q: Can someone continue with immunosuppressant medication while receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, will there be any interaction?

A: Medication questions are best addressed through a conversation with their primary care manager who prescribed the medication.

Q: How soon can the 70+ age group sign up for an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are dependents?

A: Ages 75 and over are currently being called by the Wright-Patterson Medical Center and appointments are being scheduled. Someone can also call 937-257-SHOT for scheduling.

Q: If someone is a brittle 60 year old Type 1 diabetic civilian, not a dependent of military, will there be a separate high risk group?

A: The vaccine is being offered to DOD civilian employees who work at Wright-Patterson AFB.  If someone works on base, they would be included in Phase 1C.  Currently the Medial Center cannot give an exact time frame when they will start Phase 1C COVID-19 vaccines.

Q: How will civilians be notified of ability to get the vaccine?

A: Each Wright-Patterson AFB unit has a point of contact assigned for scheduling and notifying military civilian and contract employees on base.

Q: If someone is traveling to Central America at the end of February, is there any concerns they should have about going without a COVID-19 vaccination?

A: According to the CDC, “All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.  Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”

Q: If a 68 year old has Parkinson’s, do they still fall in the Phase 1C group?

A: Yes, according to the current DOD Schema.

Q: Will Wright-Patterson AFB be offering a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination location so elderly (and others) don't have to stand in cold weather & within closed spaces with a mass crowd (thus creating potential exposure)?

A: The Wright-Patterson Medical Center’s current COVID-19 vaccine location is the Wright-Patterson Club, which has a large amount of space for patients. The Medical Center is scheduling patients in time blocks with the weather in mind. A Drive-thru vaccination line is not an option the Medical Center we are considering at this time due to the minimum 15 minute wait that is recommended after receiving the vaccine.

Q: What are recommendations for people taking methotrexate and humira, do these drugs need paused before getting the vaccine or paused afterwards?

A: Mediation questions are best addressed through a conversation with their primary care manager who prescribed the medications.

Q: Will the COVID-19 vaccine be as beneficial for immunocompromised patients as those who are not?

A: Information from the CDC: “People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines provided they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Q: If someone is doing a permanent change of station to an overseas assignment this summer, do they need the vaccine before they transfer?

A: According to the CDC, “All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.  Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”

Q: Does the Medical Center know if the efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccine is applicable to the new COVID-19 strains first found in UK, South Africa, and Brazil?

A: The Medical center does not have enough information to answer this at this time.

Q: If someone has A-Fib and lung issues what category would they fit in to?

A: If someone is 75 years of age or older, Phase 1B is currently being vaccinated. If someone is younger they may fall into the high-risk category which is Phase 1C. Information from the CDC regarding medical conditions can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html  

Q: How do retirees 65 years of age or older who do not get medical care on base get notified or sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center?

A: The Medical Center is using contact information available in the DEERS system to reach out to all beneficiaries, regardless of where their primary care is being given.

Q: Does efficacy rate drop with age?

A: There is no current evidence to suggest it drops with age.

Q: When can someone get their COVID-19 vaccine?

A: When their specific phase begins.

Q: How will high risk beneficiaries be contacted when Phase 1C begins?

A: The Wright-Patterson Medical Center is communicating the COVID-19 vaccination schedule through phone calls, social media, print media and other means to ensure that everyone who wishes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has an opportunity.

Q: Does taking Paracetamol/NSAIDs as a prophylaxis blunt immune response to the vaccine?

A: Medication and health questions are best addressed through a conversation with your primary care manager.

Q: What defines "high risk" category?

A: Information from the CDC regarding medical conditions can be found here at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html   

Q: Is there anyone that is recommended to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: According to the CDC, “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, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose.”

Q: Is it true that the COVID-19 vaccine can possibly impact a woman’s fertility due to a proteins in the vaccine?

A: According to the CDC, “Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward. The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now and will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines.”

The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine. People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.”

Q: Is it true that the COVID-19 vaccine makes the virus harder to detect and will the COVID-19 vaccine help against the new variants.

A: Please visit to learn more about variants of the disease: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/scientific-brief-emerging-variants.html

Q: What about the South American variant, does the COVID-19 vaccine protect against it?

A: Please visit to learn more about variants of the disease: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/scientific-brief-emerging-variants.html

Q: If some had Bell ’s palsy previous, are they more vulnerable to get it again?

A: According to the CDC, “Cases of Bell’s palsy were reported in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider these to be above the rate expected in the general population. They have not concluded these cases were caused by vaccination. Therefore, persons who have previously had Bell ’s palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”

Q: When it is stated that medical personnel are able to be vaccinated is that only DOD personnel?

A: Yes, only healthcare workers who are employed at Wright-Patterson AFB can receive the COVID-19 vaccine on base.

Q: What is the timeline for when someone can get their COVID-19 vaccine and what phase is Wright-Patterson AFB currently vaccinating?

A: Wright-Patterson AFB is currently vaccinating Phases 1A and 1B. It is unknown at this time when the base will move into the next phase as it is dependent on the supply from the DOD. 

Q: How will retirees and other beneficiaries get notified of their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Is there a place to register at?

A: The Medical Center is using contact information available in the DEERS system to reach out to all beneficiaries.