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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Allison Turner, 88th Healthcare Operations Squadron, fills a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine Jan 8, 2021, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Allison Turner, 88th Healthcare Operations Squadron, fills a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine Jan 8, 2021, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (R.J. Oriez/U.S. Air Force)

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(Tribune News Service) — Military hospitals are reserving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for service members, who are required to be vaccinated.

Only uniformed service members and young children receiving pediatric doses may get the COVID-19 vaccine at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center until further notice, the 88th Medical Group said Wednesday.

No new appointments at Wright Patterson Medical Center for the vaccine are available unless those seeking the shot are uniformed service members, the medical group said. This includes first, second and booster doses.

"Ensuring our active duty force is 100% armed for the COVID-19 fight, the Defense Health Agency announced that only DOD (Department of Defense) service members can receive the legacy Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine offered at Wright-Patterson Medical Center," the group said on social media.

"Production of the legacy vaccine has ended," the group added. "All available vials of the legacy 'Purple Top' Pfizer vaccine represent the only vaccine that can be used for the mandatory vaccination of service members."

Similar announcements are being made at other military hospitals.

"Temporary adjustments may be experienced over the next few weeks as the production of the legacy Pfizer vaccine stopped in December of 2021," the Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. says on its web site. "DOD's current supply of the legacy Pfizer vaccine in circulation is being reserved for use in the primary vaccine series required for service members."

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia has made the same announcement.

Once the group receives more vaccines it will re-open appointments for all beneficiaries, the 88th Medical Group said.

Off-base healthcare facilities offering the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at https://www.vaccines.gov/.

Current vaccine appointments will be honored, the base said. But the walk-in COVID-19 vaccine line scheduled for Friday has been canceled. All appointments already booked for Jan. 28 will be honored in the Wright-Patterson Medical Center's Immunizations Clinic.

The pediatric dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is still available by appointment in the Wright-Patterson Pediatric Clinic and can be booked online at https://informatics-stage.health.mil/COVAX/.

(c)2022 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at www.daytondailynews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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