As of Nov. 24:
UPDATE: Eligible personnel requiring a booster shot must schedule an appointment through the DHA Appointment portal. The next available booster appointments are:
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is scheduling appointments for children and teens ages 5-17 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Your child must be enrolled in DEERS before scheduling an appointment. If your child is in DEERS, call 06371-9464-5762 DSN 590-5762 to schedule an appointment.
Vaccines are available at Ramstein for all DOD CAC holders or U.S. citizens with base access age 18+, including service members, U.S. civilian employees, contractors, retirees, adult dependents, and other TRICARE beneficiaries. See below for more information about the Pfizer vaccine for dependents under 18.
The Ramstein Clinic/86 MDG Beneficiaries may receive the vaccine at any military hospital, clinic or DoD vaccination site that offers the vaccine, even if it’s not where you normally get care.
In addition to protecting yourself, your family and your coworkers, getting vaccinated has other benefits. Fully vaccinated, symptomless individuals do not have to provide a negative COVID test to enter establishments in Rheinland-Pfaz, and they do not have to quarantine after returning from a risk area/high-incidence area. It opens up more opportunities for travel, and the installation may open more activities and facilities to vaccinated members in the near future.
Please see the sections below for more information.
COVID-19 vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make a COVID-19 vaccine(s) available.
In public health emergencies, such as the current pandemic, the vaccine development process may be atypical. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) has authorized the use of a COVID-19 vaccine after careful and rigorous testing and trials. Effective Aug. 23 the FDA granted full approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people ages 16+.
Investments and partnerships by the U.S. government have prioritized development and distribution of the most promising vaccines that have met the FDA’s rigorous and science-based standards for quality, safety, and effectiveness.
None of the factors that contributed to the accelerated development of a COVID-19 vaccine imply that safety, scientific or ethical integrity are compromised, or that short-cuts have been made. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested, with clinical trials evaluating tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by the FDA. To learn more about the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, including vaccines in earlier stages of development, visit clinicaltrials.gov.
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 vaccines are authorized for use and distribution. The DoD has full confidence in the safety, transparency and efficacy in the latest COVID-19 vaccine(s) authorized by the FDA .
After vaccination, it is possible for some side effects to occur during the process of building immunity. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Per FDA requirements, DoD will be monitoring and tracking vaccine reports of side effects through various surveillance activities both internal and external to the DoD.
The DoD remains committed to protecting service members, civilians, and families around the world.
Beneficiaries may sign up for the vaccine at any military hospital, clinic or DoD vaccination site that offers the vaccine, even if it’s not where you normally get care. At Ramstein, the vaccine is administered at building 2116, which is located across from the Pizza Hut/Subway restaurant before the Ramstein Recycling Center.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic.
Effective Aug. 23 the FDA granted full approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people ages 16+. At this time, the vaccine is mandated for service members and federal civilians, but all eligible family members are encouraged to receive the vaccine to protect their health, their families and our community.
For individuals who have already had the disease, the vaccine may have value in continuing to protect people because the duration of immunity from natural infection with COVID-19 is unknown. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but the CDC says more studies are needed to better understand this.
Getting vaccinated is a personal choice for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Read more at the CDC site here.
COVID-19 vaccines will be given in a two-dose series separated by about four weeks.
You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
Some common side effects include pain or swelling in the arm, and other mild symptoms like fever, chills, tiredness or headache.
To hear the experiences of someone who received the vaccine, click the links below. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Mihata, former 86th Medical Group Commander, documented how he felt 24 hours and 48 hours after vaccination:
24 hours post administration
48 hours post administration
24 hours post second dose
48 hours post second dose
Since mild symptoms are normal and expected, members who receive the vaccine and experience mild side effects should not call the COVID/Sick Hotline unless you feel the symptoms are severe. If you are experiencing an adverse reaction to the vaccine, you can self-report your symptoms by using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at www.vaers.hhs.gov. Registration with the V-Safe app provided by the CDC to monitor COVID-19 vaccine side effects is currently presenting issues for non-US residents, therefore we recommend using the VAERS until a solution for the V-Safe app becomes available.
After you complete the vaccination, it will still be necessary to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and continue other hygiene measures 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.
The 86th Medical Group will track COVID vaccine administration through existing medical record reporting systems.
COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible to face an unprecedented need, and we understand there may be some concern. To combat misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, this list highlights some common myths associated with receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can give you COVID-19.
Fact: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is too new or too rushed to be safe.
Fact: Effective Aug. 23 the FDA granted full approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people ages 16+. There are processes and procedures put into place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized for use. Vaccines for COVID-19 are only available after they are demonstrated to be safe and effective in large phase three clinical trials and authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed in record time, the development process was in-depth. See Operation Warp Speed for more information.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Myth: I do not need to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have already had COVID-19.
Fact: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have had the COVID-19 disease before. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person.
Myth: I can begin traveling once I receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: Host nation and installation guidance will still apply, and it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. However, more locations are opening up to individuals who are fully vaccinated, and fully vaccinated, symptomless people do not have to quarantine after returning from a risk area. As more people get vaccinated, the COVID threat should decrease, likely resulting in more countries permitting tourist travel.
Myth: Vaccines approved through the Emergency Use Authorization are not safe.
Fact: Drugs and vaccines have to be approved by the 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, like COVID-19. Effective Aug. 23 the FDA granted full approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people ages 16+.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccine will alter your DNA.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
Myth: The potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are too risky.
Fact: Most people will not have serious side effects after being vaccinated. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease. See more here: What to Expect after a COVID-19 Vaccination
Myth: I don’t need the flu shot if I receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Fact: The CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading at the same time. That means that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. A flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it can prevent you from getting influenza (flu) at the same time as COVID-19. This can keep you from having a more severe illness.
Q. Is the COVID vaccine safe?
A. Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only authorizes the use of a COVID-19 vaccine after careful and rigorous testing and trials. The DoD has full confidence in the stringent regulatory process and requirements of the FDA, as well as the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Hundreds of millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Severe side effects are extremely rare. According to the CDC, only 2 to 5 people for every million receiving a COVID vaccine have experienced a severe allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions can occur with any vaccine, including the influenza vaccine.
Q. Can someone get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
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.
Q. How can I schedule a vaccination appointment on base?
A. Walk-in vaccines are available in Bldg 2116 at the times and dates listed above.
Q. If I received my first dose in in one location, can I receive my second dose at a different location? For example, if I receive my first dose at LRMC, can I get my second at Ramstein?
A. Yes, just make sure you cancel your second dose appointment with the MTF you received your first dose from. In this example, you would need to make sure your second dose appointment at LRMC was cancelled.
Q. If my first dose was Pfizer, can my second dose be Moderna or vice-versa?
A. No. Both first and second doses need to be the same brand. The base is awaiting local guidance pertaining to the mixing/matching of booster shots.
Q. What is the recommended time interval between doses of the Moderna vaccine?
A. The recommended timeframe is 28 days after the first dose. The manufacturer prefers not to exceed 42 days between doses. The period between doses for other varieties of the vaccine may differ.
Q. Should pregnant people get the vaccine?
A. A recent study conducted by the CDC found no safety concerns among a large group of pregnant women who received the vaccine during their third trimester; and there were no safety concerns for their babies. It is still a personal decision for the pregnant individual, and we encourage people to talk to their primary care providers to determine what is best for them.
Q. How will 86 MDG track personnel who receive a COVID vaccine?
A. The 86 MDG track COVID vaccine administration through existing medical record reporting systems. Personnel should keep their hard-copy vaccine certificate in a safe place. At this time, it is not recommended to laminate the certificate.
Q. If I already had COVID-19, should I still get a vaccine?
Q. Can I take the influenza vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. For mission readiness, we now allow the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine to be administered within 14 days of each other. Vaccinations for different diseases or illnesses (e.g. Anthrax) should be administered separately from the COVID-19 vaccine, at least 14 days apart.
Q. What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
A. 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. In situations when there is good scientific reason to believe that a product is safe and effective, the FDA may authorize its emergency use under specific circumstances. Vaccines authorized for emergency use are offered on a voluntary basis. Effective Aug. 23 the FDA granted full approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people ages 16+.
Q. Will TRICARE beneficiaries including military retirees have access to the vaccine?
A. Yes, service members, U.S. civilian employees, contractors, retirees, adult dependents, and other 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 their local civilian health care system, pending availability.
Q. Does getting the COVID-19 vaccine allow you to travel and avoid quarantine or other restrictions?
A. Yes. Some exemptions exist for fully vaccinated individuals. For current host nation and installation guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, please reference our main COIVD-19 website page.
Q. When will someone be considered ‘fully-vaccinated’?
A. An individual is fully vaccinated 14 days past their final inoculation (2nd dose for Moderna). Guidance for fully vaccinated individuals is applicable after this 14 day mark and if the individual is not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Q. Why is this a series shot? What changes from the 1st to 2nd dose?
A. The second dose is for the body’s immune system to get a second look at the vaccine protein that resembles the virus. Just like reading material twice for an exam can help you remember, it is the same for our immune system. In order to be fully effective, both doses of the vaccine must be taken as prescribed. The Moderna vaccine requires patients to wait 28 days after receiving the first dose before they get the second dose. The period between doses for other varieties of the vaccine may differ.
Q. Individuals are being asked whether or not they have any autoimmune disorders. What autoimmune disorders are cause for concern with the COVID vaccine?
A. Autoimmune disorders should not prevent individuals from receiving the vaccine. If you have concerns, please contact your PCM. We also have providers at the vaccination line to answer specific questions you may have.
Q. Will people with allergies be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. The only contraindication would be a history of a severe allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine. Discuss with your provider if you are concerned about allergies.
Q. What conditions are considered high-risk of COVID-19?
A. The CDC outlines a list of conditions which are considered high-risk on their site here.