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Image of two Airmen treating a patient.

Air Force SMART program sustains readiness and c...

Local News
Oct. 27, 2022

The Air Force’s Sustained Medical and Readiness Trained, or SMART, program has become a dynamic training...
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2022) – Capt. Sharon House, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville commander, together with the command’s Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS team, prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new electronic health record system MHS GENESIS on September 24 at the hospital. The ribbon cutting recognized the launch of the new electronic health record at the hospital and its Naval Branch Health Clinics Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

MHS GENESIS ‘Goes Live’ at Naval Hospital Jackso...

Local News
Sep. 26, 2022

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville and Naval Branch Health Clinics (NBHC) Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport...
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Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to 17 Year-Olds

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to...

Local News
Aug. 31, 2022

Adolescents ages 12 to 17 can now receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth vaccine to be authorized...
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Image of monkeypox.

Eligible Airmen, Guardians have access to more m...

Local News
Aug. 22, 2022

The Department of Defense is increasing its supply of the approved monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, which allows...
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JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph Pharmacies change processes

JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph pharmacies implemen...

Local News
Aug. 19, 2022

The Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Randolph Pharmacy teams are changing some of their processes to...
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collage of active duty service women

After Dobbs Decision, Department of Defense Prov...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, service...
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Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculoskeletal injuries

Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculo...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

The Brooke Army Medical Center Musculoskeletal Integrated Practice Unit, located in the Capt. Jennifer M...
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three women patient advocates who are a part of the sexual harassment/assault response and prevention program

New Army policy better enables victims to report...

Local News
Aug. 10, 2022

A new policy recently implemented by the Army is designed to help remove possible barriers that may prevent...
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Local News | Aug. 30, 2022

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

Public health experts say COVID-19 cases are anticipated to spike again this fall, but new vaccine versions expected to be released soon will target subvariants that dominate cases in the United States.

These updated vaccines to be available as a single-dose booster sometime after Labor Day are termed “bivalent” vaccines, meaning they work by stimulating an immune response against two different antigens.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are anticipated to authorize and recommend the Pfizer bivalent vaccine as a booster for those age 12 and older and the Moderna version for those 18 years and older. However, per the FDA, the bivalent vaccines will not be able to be administered as a primary series.

The new COVID-19 bivalent booster combines the original strain with the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 and will be distributed under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Pfizer and Moderna applied for EUAs for their bivalent products on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, respectively.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants account for more than three-quarters of COVID-19 infections in the country. The subvariants also account for the majority of cases worldwide, according to the CDC.

The FDA and CDC decisions are expected to occur prior to or just after the Labor Day holiday, said Air Force Col. Tonya Rans, chief of the Defense Health Agency Immunization Health Division.

Pfizer and Moderna anticipate quickly shipping their messenger RNA (mRNA) bivalent vaccines in September pending authorization.

Since the bivalent vaccines will be issued under emergency use authorization, getting this booster shot is not required, but highly recommended.

For Military Health System beneficiaries, the Department of Defense does not currently mandate booster shots, but does require that service members and other beneficiaries must have first received a primary series from one of the available vaccines before getting the bivalent booster.

Will I Be Able to Find a Bivalent Shot?

Military medical treatment facilities are pre-ordering the new vaccines, and there is not a supply issue anticipated, Rans noted. The Department of Health and Human Services has secured more than 171 million dosesbivalent doses secuired of the bivalent boosters for distribution.

CDC has not yet decided what the minimum interval between your most recent COVID-19 vaccine shot and the new bivalent booster will be. “However, we expect a decision soon after a CDC meeting on September 1 or 2,” Rans said.

The CDC published a chartCDC COVID-19 vaccination chart that shows the schedule for primary series and boosters and clinical considerations for four FDA authorized or approved vaccines, including the latest authorized from Novavax. That vaccine received EUA only as a two-shot primary series for those 12 and older.

Novavax cannot be administered as a booster dose at this time.

All current COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are available under an EUA. The primary doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have full FDA approval, while Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Novavax are available as an EUA.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine should only be used in “very limited situations for primary and booster vaccinations,” CDC said.

Authorized in December 2020, the original vaccines were designed to protect against serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020. Those shots and then boosters also protect against the Delta variant that began circulating in June 2021 as well as the Omicron B.1 variant, which began showing up in November 2021.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants evolved from the Omicron mutation in early 2022. They are more contagious and can bypass the immunity you may have developed from a past infection or vaccination, according to federal experts.

Bivalent Shots and Flu

The availability of the new bivalent boosters will coincide with the traditional influenza vaccination season. A COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given at the same time, Rans emphasized.

DOD will begin shipping the 2022-2023 influenza vaccines right after Labor Day, she said. DOD expects HHS to begin shipping the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent boosters around the same time, pending authorization.

The flu is expected to show a resurgence this year after two slower seasons, and the infection season is expected to start earlier, federal experts have predicted.

The FDA is not requiring new studies in humans for the bivalent vaccines to receive an EUA, but will use data already gathered from the Delta and Omicron BA.1 variant studies and public health vaccination data.

The agency has directed that there will be new clinical studies on the BA.4 and BA.5 boosters from manufacturers that will be reviewed at a later date to see if the results can support full FDA approval.

The FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks, who has vaccine oversight at the agency, said he expects “this coming year to be a transitional period” for COVID-19.

Local News

 

 

Local News | Aug. 30, 2022

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

Public health experts say COVID-19 cases are anticipated to spike again this fall, but new vaccine versions expected to be released soon will target subvariants that dominate cases in the United States.

These updated vaccines to be available as a single-dose booster sometime after Labor Day are termed “bivalent” vaccines, meaning they work by stimulating an immune response against two different antigens.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are anticipated to authorize and recommend the Pfizer bivalent vaccine as a booster for those age 12 and older and the Moderna version for those 18 years and older. However, per the FDA, the bivalent vaccines will not be able to be administered as a primary series.

The new COVID-19 bivalent booster combines the original strain with the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 and will be distributed under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Pfizer and Moderna applied for EUAs for their bivalent products on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, respectively.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants account for more than three-quarters of COVID-19 infections in the country. The subvariants also account for the majority of cases worldwide, according to the CDC.

The FDA and CDC decisions are expected to occur prior to or just after the Labor Day holiday, said Air Force Col. Tonya Rans, chief of the Defense Health Agency Immunization Health Division.

Pfizer and Moderna anticipate quickly shipping their messenger RNA (mRNA) bivalent vaccines in September pending authorization.

Since the bivalent vaccines will be issued under emergency use authorization, getting this booster shot is not required, but highly recommended.

For Military Health System beneficiaries, the Department of Defense does not currently mandate booster shots, but does require that service members and other beneficiaries must have first received a primary series from one of the available vaccines before getting the bivalent booster.

Will I Be Able to Find a Bivalent Shot?

Military medical treatment facilities are pre-ordering the new vaccines, and there is not a supply issue anticipated, Rans noted. The Department of Health and Human Services has secured more than 171 million dosesbivalent doses secuired of the bivalent boosters for distribution.

CDC has not yet decided what the minimum interval between your most recent COVID-19 vaccine shot and the new bivalent booster will be. “However, we expect a decision soon after a CDC meeting on September 1 or 2,” Rans said.

The CDC published a chartCDC COVID-19 vaccination chart that shows the schedule for primary series and boosters and clinical considerations for four FDA authorized or approved vaccines, including the latest authorized from Novavax. That vaccine received EUA only as a two-shot primary series for those 12 and older.

Novavax cannot be administered as a booster dose at this time.

All current COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are available under an EUA. The primary doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have full FDA approval, while Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Novavax are available as an EUA.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine should only be used in “very limited situations for primary and booster vaccinations,” CDC said.

Authorized in December 2020, the original vaccines were designed to protect against serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020. Those shots and then boosters also protect against the Delta variant that began circulating in June 2021 as well as the Omicron B.1 variant, which began showing up in November 2021.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants evolved from the Omicron mutation in early 2022. They are more contagious and can bypass the immunity you may have developed from a past infection or vaccination, according to federal experts.

Bivalent Shots and Flu

The availability of the new bivalent boosters will coincide with the traditional influenza vaccination season. A COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given at the same time, Rans emphasized.

DOD will begin shipping the 2022-2023 influenza vaccines right after Labor Day, she said. DOD expects HHS to begin shipping the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent boosters around the same time, pending authorization.

The flu is expected to show a resurgence this year after two slower seasons, and the infection season is expected to start earlier, federal experts have predicted.

The FDA is not requiring new studies in humans for the bivalent vaccines to receive an EUA, but will use data already gathered from the Delta and Omicron BA.1 variant studies and public health vaccination data.

The agency has directed that there will be new clinical studies on the BA.4 and BA.5 boosters from manufacturers that will be reviewed at a later date to see if the results can support full FDA approval.

The FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks, who has vaccine oversight at the agency, said he expects “this coming year to be a transitional period” for COVID-19.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.