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News | Jan. 25, 2022

LRMC expands COVID-19 booster eligibility to 12-15-year-olds

By Marcy Sanchez

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center began offering COVID-19 booster vaccinations less than a day following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expansion of booster shot eligibility to those 12 to 15 years old.

LRMC, the only forward-stationed medical center for U.S. & Coalition forces, began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster vaccination to patients under 16 during a normally scheduled vaccination event which was adjusted to increase vaccine availability to that age group.

The swift update to LRMC’s COVID-19 booster vaccine eligibility to mirror the CDC’s recommendations demonstrates the military community’s desire to flatten the curve and protect the communities where they reside.

“Vaccinations will help protect everybody as we're getting back from the holidays,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. William Murray, officer in charge, LRMC COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. “We have a lot of variants spreading and visitors, family members coming from (outside of Germany) so we must protect everybody from the five year olds to the elderly.”

Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older.

For Linda Hall, who attended the event with her 13 and 16-year-old daughters, the thought of her children being sick after being provided the opportunity to vaccinate is unconceivable.

“I think this is a great idea to keep everyone as safe as possible,” said Hall. “I was really grateful I could get the booster for my girls right away. I didn't have to really wait and (LRMC) made it available right away.”

Despite being a new patient population, LRMC’s vaccination process has being refined for efficiency with over a year of inoculations, as demonstrated during the Jan. 6 event.

“Of all the other (vaccination events) we've come to, it's been a little bit of a wait but today everything was really quick,” mentions Hall.
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