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MDS, CAT prepare COVID vaccine appointment portal

HANCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials from the 66th Medical Squadron will soon offer a COVID vaccination appointment tool to the base population.

The publicly accessible Defense Health Agency Appointment Portal will allow select service members, Air Force civilian employees and TRICARE beneficiaries to schedule first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses at their respective installation in 15-minute blocks.

Hanscom Air Force Base is currently vaccinating only those personnel in Tiers 1a, b, and c of the Department of Defense prioritization schema, and expects to have the portal available this month.  

 “This tool will make finding and creating vaccination appointments easier for the patient and for us here at the clinic,” Lt. Col. Ryan Gough, 66 MDS public health emergency officer. “This will streamline the entire process.”

Gough explained that the tool will not only take the scheduling strain off the installation Crisis Action Team, but will reduce the risk of crowds and lines outside the vaccination site here.

Officials are still recommending personnel preregister for the vaccine through the state when eligible. Massachusetts residents can preregister for a COVID vaccine at vaccinesignup.mass.gov/#/. New Hampshire residents can preregister at https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Bedford, Massachusetts, recently announced they will offer COVID vaccines to spouses and caregivers of veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. To register, spouses and caregivers will need their veteran's name and last four digits of their social security number. Appointments can be made by calling 781-687-4000.

Beginning April 4, the Vaccine Clinic at the VA-run hospital in Bedford will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We’ll continue to notify the base population of their vaccine eligibility as shipments arrive through chains of command,” said Randy Robertson, installation CAT director.

66 MDS beneficiaries can also receive COVID vaccine updates through the secure messaging tool.

Additional information about the DHA appointment portal, including step-by-step instructions, as well as other COVID updates, will be posted to www.Hanscom.af.mil/Coronavirus.