Support our mission
 
A vial of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table during a vaccination clinic at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut, April 18, 2021. Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to children ages 12 to 17 starting next week as the vaccine is expected to arrive in theater early next week.
A vial of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table during a vaccination clinic at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut, April 18, 2021. Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to children ages 12 to 17 starting next week as the vaccine is expected to arrive in theater early next week. (Steven Tucker/U.S. Air National Guard )
A vial of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table during a vaccination clinic at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut, April 18, 2021. Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to children ages 12 to 17 starting next week as the vaccine is expected to arrive in theater early next week.
A vial of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table during a vaccination clinic at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut, April 18, 2021. Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to children ages 12 to 17 starting next week as the vaccine is expected to arrive in theater early next week. (Steven Tucker/U.S. Air National Guard )
Sgt. Gilberto Armento, with the Arizona Army National Guard, assists with immunizations at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Mesa, Ariz., May 13, 2021. The unit began vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light to use the Pfizer vaccine for that age group.  Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to kids in that age group starting next week.
Sgt. Gilberto Armento, with the Arizona Army National Guard, assists with immunizations at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Mesa, Ariz., May 13, 2021. The unit began vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light to use the Pfizer vaccine for that age group. Several U.S. bases in Europe are planning to offer the vaccine to kids in that age group starting next week. (Laura Bauer/U.S. Army)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See more staff and wire stories here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

Some U.S. military health clinics in Europe are preparing to give the coronavirus vaccine to children as young as 12, Army and Air Force officials said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive in Europe early next week, medical officials said Friday.

“We will receive enough doses for all eligible 12- to 17-year-olds to receive first and second doses,” Air Force Lt. Col. Elizabeth Erickson, acting command surgeon for U.S. European Command, said in a statement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to include those ages 12 to 15. The vaccine was already approved for ages 16 and up.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee also signed off on the two-dose jab, citing the low risk the vaccine has posed so far among the age group in clinical trials.

The Defense Department hasn’t yet authorized the vaccine for the 12-15 age group but is expected to weigh in by Saturday, officials in Japan at Yokosuka Naval Base said Friday on Facebook.

This will be the first time the Pfizer vaccine will be available at U.S. bases in Europe.

Moderna has been the primary vaccine shipped overseas because of the ultra-cold storage requirements for Pfizer. Some bases have also received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up.

Once it arrives, the Pfizer vaccine will be available at all Army military treatment facilities in Europe, said Gino Mattorano, a spokesman for Regional Health Command Europe. Each clinic will announce when the vaccine will be available at their location, he said.

Air Force bases in Europe are expected to begin distributing the Pfizer vaccine next week, said 2nd Lt. Charis Bryan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Forces in Europe — Air Forces Africa.

“DOD affiliated personnel ages 12-17 will be the primary recipients, but additional categories may also receive this vaccination if they choose,” Bryan said in a statement Friday.

Distribution may vary by location, she said.

Several Army bases have announced tentative plans for Pfizer immunization clinics for ages 12 to 17, with appointments available at: https://informatics-stage.health.mil/COVAX/.

The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic has set aside May 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hainerberg Bookmart in the base strip mall in Wiesbaden. Appointments will open once the vaccine arrives, the clinic’s Facebook page said.

In Belgium, SHAPE Healthcare Facility has penciled in May 24, pending vaccine arrival, a Facebook announcement said. One Saturday vaccination clinic is also planned.

At Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, first-dose immunizations are tentatively planned for May 24-27 and June 2.

Ramstein Air Base said due to freezer storage limitations, the base will continue to offer only the Moderna vaccine to eligible beneficiaries 18 and older. Ramstein beneficiaries are eligible to receive the Pfizer immunization at LRMC.

U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, the largest Navy hospital in Europe, did not immediately say Friday whether it would be offering the Pfizer vaccine.

Mattorano said the Pfizer vaccine will be shipped to facilities that have ultra-cold storage capability. From there, it will be redistributed to clinics to support vaccination events for those ages 12 to 17. The vaccine can be stored for up to 14 days at facilities that do not have ultra-cold storage, he said.

svan.jennifer@stripes.com Twitter: @stripesktown

Migrated
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up