Armed Forces News

Air Force Maj. Helena Guerra, 22nd Medical Group bravo flight commander, prepares her station for her next COVID-19 vaccine patient April 28, 2021, at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) in St. Paul, Minnesota. The total-force team consists of approximately 140 Airmen from 24 installations across the country. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexi Bosarge)

Children between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations. TRICARE announced earlier this month that military medical facilities and providers have begun administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to these adolescents, now that both the FDA and CDC have approved its use and recommends inoculation.

The process for adolescent children to get their inoculations through TRICARE is the same as it is for adults. Those who want the vaccine can make appointments through their military treatment facility, civilian providers, state and local vaccination sites, and pharmacies that participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

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Adolescents who receive their vaccine from providers outside of the Defense Department should let their primary-care providers know, and give them a copy of their vaccine card. The vaccine is free, but some health plans may charge for an office visit. As with adults, adolescents are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting their second dose. Side effects, which usually occur after the second shot, include tiredness, fever, headache, muscle pain, or chills.

“These are normal signs that your child’s body is building protection against the virus,” TRICARE said in a statement. “They should go away after a few days.”