The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center COVID-19 Vaccine Site is located in Building 9, on the first floor. Hours of Operation are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis or by appointment via the DHA Appointing Tool for all DoD eligible beneficiaries 12 years of age and older.
Click here for help planning your visit.
Please do not contact our clinics or the IRMAC appointment line for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. They are not part of the appointment process.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is covered by TRICARE for active duty service members at locations such as Walgreens through Aug 31, 2021 due to an extension of the 2020 Supplemental Health Care Program. Click here to view the policy memo.
Click here to view a message from the Secretary of Defense on COVID-19 Vaccinations.
COVID Vaccine Site
The WRNMMC COVID Vaccine Site is located in Building 9 on the first floor. COVID-19 vaccinations are available Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm. Eligible beneficiaries must bring their military ID card and report directly to Building 9 for their vaccination.
On-site parking is limited. The nearest patient parking is available in Building 55 South/Arrowhead Garage.
Other Important Information about the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is being offered through an Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration on a voluntary basis, but priority populations are highly encouraged to get it. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects yourself, your family, your community and our nation.
Vaccines from different manufacturers that may become available later will NOT be interchangeable. The vaccine recipient must receive the same vaccine for both doses. It is recommended that beneficiaries note the scheduled date for the second dose at the time of the initial vaccination. Talk to your provider to ensure you get the right dose at the right time.
If you are in need of other immunizations or have recently received other vaccines, be sure to tell your provider to determine when you can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
For COVID-19 vaccine updates at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, call our COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at (301) 295-CVAX (2829).
Q1: What is an Emergency Use Authorization?
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. 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.
Q2: How do we know if the vaccine is safe? How will you monitor and track vaccine side effects?
The DoD is confident in the stringent regulatory process and requirements of the FDA. 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 they are authorized for use and distribution. Per FDA requirements, DoD will be monitoring and tracking vaccine reports of vaccine side effects through various surveillance activities both internal and external to the DoD.
Q3: Why should we receive the first-available vaccine when there are several other vaccines still in trials?
People who are offered the first-available vaccine are considered to be in groups that are most in need of COVID-19 protection. Vaccinated people will be protecting themselves, as well as their families and all people with whom they interact. Evaluation of the first-available vaccine will continue, even after its pre-licensure release. The release of other vaccines cannot be fully predicted, so people who are offered the first-available vaccine are highly encouraged to receive it.
Q4. If I already had COVID-19, should I still get a vaccine?
Yes. Vaccination is recommended because the duration of immunity following COVID-19 infection is unknown and the vaccine may have value in protecting previously infected people.
Q5. Do we still need to wear masks and practice physical distancing now that a vaccine is available?
Based on the CDC’s latest science, most fully vaccinated
people can safely resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. However, this guidance does not apply to healthcare settings where there may be more people at higher risk. For the safety of our patients and staff, WRNMMC’s current policy
remains in effect and unchanged. For guidance on NSAB’s policy, please read NAVADMIN 095/21
Q6. If I take the vaccine, will I still be required to comply with COVID-19 mitigation measures?
Yes, it is important that initially, everyone continues to comply with all COVID-19 mitigation/preventive measures even after receiving the vaccine–likely for much of 2021. The more efficient we are at distributing the vaccine and the more people who accept it, the faster we can ‘return to normal’. The experts predict we’ll need about 70% of the American population vaccinated in order to have ‘herd immunity’. The closer we get to 100%, the safer we all will be! We will continue to follow guidance from the DoD.
Q7. Will recipients of the vaccine receive a card or something as proof of receipt of the vaccine?
It will be included in your electronic health record, and you will receive a card specifying the vaccine you received.
Q8. Is the COVID-19 vaccine one or two shots?
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is a two-shot regimen. The second Pfizer dose cannot be given sooner than 21 days. The initial shot by itself can provide significant benefit and protection, while the second shot provides even greater protection. Based on what we know about other vaccines in development, it will likely also lead to longer lasting immunity.
Q9. Can I get the Moderna vaccine if it becomes available if my first shot was made by Pfizer?
No. Individuals will receive both doses of the same manufacturer only.
Q10. Will DoD require all Service Members to receive the vaccine?
Not at this time. The vaccine is offered on a voluntary basis. Priority populations are highly encouraged to receive the vaccine. When formally licensed by the FDA, a vaccine may become mandatory for military personnel as is the case for the influenza vaccine.
Q11. Who do I contact if I experience adverse effects from the vaccine?
A medical provider is at the COVID Vaccine Site should you need immediate medical assistance. If you experience adverse effects after you have already left the base, you can contact your medical provider or the MHS Nurse Advise Line at 1-800-TRICARE, Option 1. For severe symptoms, contact your Primary Care Provider or go to the emergency room.
Q12. If I begin to feel ill after the shot, should I be concerned about being around my family members?
You should not be concerned about any adverse effects from the shot putting your family at risk. Current data shows that about 10-15% of vaccine recipients have side effects from the COVID vaccine. These can include redness, soreness at the injection site, feeling tired, feeling generally ill and fever. It is recommended that those who have a fever stay home from work and away from their family members as much as possible. That is not because of any risk from the shot, but rather, because it is possible that someone with a fever might have a different infection, completely unrelated to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that simply occurred at the same time as receiving the vaccine. For most people, side effects from the shot last a day or two, anything longer than that could be caused by something other than the vaccine.
Q13. How long will protection last following vaccination?
We do not know how long protection will last following vaccination but it will be critically important to measure long-term protection (at least two years) in the phase 3 trials and in other groups prioritized for early vaccination. We are still learning about the duration of protection following infection with COVID-19 and it is too early to tell how long protection will last.
Q14. Should children get the vaccine?
While children and adolescents typically have a milder course of COVID-19 than adults, control of the virus in younger patients is a key factor in providing immunity to a community. On 12 May 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a recommendation for patients aged 12 to 15 years of age to receive the Pfizer COVID Vaccine under the existing FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Prior to coming to this decision, the FDA and CDC evaluated data from clinical studies involving patients 12 to 15 years of age and determined that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for this age group. Parents with questions about the vaccine are encouraged to discuss them with their child’s primary care manager.
Q15. If I am pregnant, can I get the vaccine?
The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine advocates for pregnant women to receive the vaccine. Because data on the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy is limited, pregnant women should consult with their OB provider or Primary Care Provider. We are committed to assuring that pregnant women are provided full access to the vaccine. They will be able to choose if they’d like to receive it or not.
Q16. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No, it is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. There are two types of vaccines available against COVID-19: mRNA
and viral vector
. Neither type of vaccine can cause COVID-19.
Q17. Should I get the vaccine for influenza (flu shot)?
Yes, it is important to get the seasonal influenza vaccine. Typically every year during the winter months, influenza causes many hospitalizations and deaths, especially among the very young and very old. Before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to tell your provider about any vaccinations you have already received or are planning to get, so the best timing of your COVID-19 vaccine can be determined.
Q18. Can I receive the flu shot around the same time I receive the COVID shot?
Due to a lack of data on safety and efficacy of the vaccine administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine should be administered alone with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccines including the seasonal flu shot.
Q19. How will the DoD track personnel who receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine will be tracked through existing medical record and readiness reporting systems.
Q20. Why/how were WRNMMC and other MTFs selected by DoD to receive the first wave of vaccines?
The first vaccination sites were selected by the DoD’s COVID-19 Task Force from sites recommended by the military services and U.S. Coast Guard to best support several criteria: anticipated supply chain requirements for initially approved vaccines (i.e. ultra-cold, bulk storage facility); sizeable local population to facilitate rapid vaccine administration to priority personnel across the military services; and sufficient necessary medical personnel to administer vaccines and actively monitor vaccine recipients after initial and second-dose administration.
Q21: How does WRNMMC define high risk patients?
We define high risk patients as older adults and those with preexisting medical conditions. The risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age. Patients older than 65 generally have a higher risk than younger patients, and those over 85 face the highest risk. The list of underlying medial conditions is long and includes, but is not limited to:
Q22: Is WRNMMC offering vaccine boosters to high risk patients?
- Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart conditions
- Weakened immune systems
- Sickle cell disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Chronic lung diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both state that COVID-19 vaccine boosters are not needed at this time (as of July 27, 2021) for those who are fully vaccinated. Based on this guidance, WRNMMC is not providing booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone, including high risk patients, as that would go against the provisions of the Emergency Use Authorization governing the distribution of the vaccine. WRNMMC continues to monitor CDC guidance for the latest information. We will continue to provide up-to-date information to our beneficiaries as the situation merits.
Please call our COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at (301) 295-CVAX (2829) for the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine availability at WRNMMC.