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JBSA medical facilities support Operation Warp Speed

  • Published
  • By Rachel Kersey
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base San Antonio’s Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, or WHASC, and Brooke Army Medical Center are supporting the Department of Defense on Operation Warp Speed, which seeks to pioneer vaccines for COVID-19. The vaccine trial began at JBSA Nov. 5. 

The Department of Defense’s participation in OWS supports the whole-of-government effort to ensure that safe and effective medical products are provided rapidly to the American people. 

“This is a joint effort between the private sector and military,” said Genice Jacques, lead site coordinator at WHASC. “It’s a collaboration that’s unheard of.” 

The trial is randomized, so not everyone who participates will receive an actual vaccine, Jacques said. For every three participants, two will receive the vaccine and one will receive a placebo.  

When participants enter one of the OWS trial facilities at JBSA, they should be in and out within two hours, depending on how long it takes to answer any questions or concerns participants have, how long it takes to obtain their vitals, check to make sure they meet medical standards, do nose swabs, and perform an inoculation, Jacques said.  

After the vaccine has been administered, the medical team, comprised of government civilians and active-duty service members, will contact participants by phone within eight days to assess their health and see if they are showing any symptoms.  

Twenty-nine days after receiving the first injection, participants will receive a second “booster” injection. One week after the second injection, they will receive another phone call assessment, and a final follow-up phone call two weeks after that.  

“We’re always calling them to ask about their symptoms because if they do feel symptomatic, we will bring them in, and we do some additional tests,” Jacques said. “If they are symptomatic by chance, we do treat them as if they are contagious.” 

Operation Warp Speed also operates a 24/7 nurse hotline that participants can call anytime to report any shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms. This information will be provided to those participating in the trial. 

The DOD has a goal of 1,000 volunteers in each market area of the OWS trial, with the target population being active duty, Reserve and National Guard, retirees, veterans, and other Military Health System beneficiaries who meet the trial parameters. 

Personnel interested in participating in the Phase III AstraZeneca trials at selected DOD locations should visit, click on “Volunteer Now,” and complete the survey using the appropriate DOD Site Code.  Local site codes are: 

  • Brooke Army Medical Center (Site Code: BAMC) 

  • Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (Site Code: WHMC)