Vaccination deadline for Tinker Airmen approaching fast

  • Published
  • By Paul Shirk
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall released COVID-19 vaccine implementation guidelines Sept. 3, requiring Active Duty Airmen and Guardians to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 2, unless seeking an exemption. The deadline for Reservists and National Guard is Dec. 2.

To assist Airmen who may still be unvaccinated, the 72nd Medical Group will be offering vaccination shot lines in the coming days so that they can be in compliance before the deadline.

Appointments can be made by visiting Shot lines will be held Sept. 16, 17 and 20-24, with multiple time slots available.

Active Duty Airmen needing the shot are advised not to wait. Nov. 2 may seem distant, but in order to be fully vaccinated, the second vaccination shot for the Pfizer vaccine must be administered on or prior to Oct. 19. This means that a first shot must be administered no later than Sept. 28.

These dates apply to the vaccine approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, known as Comirnaty®, which is manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech. Vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also available under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization.

Those who received their vaccinations outside of a military treatment facility and have not already updated their medical records should send proof of vaccination to the 72nd MDG Public Health Office via email to be considered fully vaccinated.

Airmen with questions are able to consult with their healthcare provider or chaplain to address questions or concerns with the vaccine.

Additionally, Airmen have the option to apply for medical or administrative exemption, including religious accommodations, by reaching out to their commander. The process for obtaining exemptions for all mandatory vaccinations is provided in AFI 48-110_IP, Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases, for medical exemptions, and DAFI 52-201, Religious Freedom in the Department of the Air Force, for religious accommodations.

Any refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, absent an approved exemption or accommodation, may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.