From Blanchfield Army Community Hospital
Fort Campbell, KY – It was a great day for 17-year old Alan Saucer recently when he received his second dose of the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH).
The high school student chose to get vaccinated after speaking with his parents and his primary care manager from Blanchfield’s Screaming Eagle Medical Home.
“I decided to take the vaccine because it’s a quality of life reassurance that I’ll have a reduced risk of getting COVID,” said Saucer, who has an underlying medical condition that may put him at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 Coronavirus.
“We got a call from our primary care manager about our son having the opportunity to take the Pfizer vaccine. Since he’s 17 and a Type I diabetic, we talked to him about it and we thought it was a great opportunity for him to come and get inoculated,” said his father, Daniel Saucer, a retired Air Force physicist, who accompanied his son to the vaccine clinic at the Passenger Processing Center on Fort Campbell. The father explained that Type I diabetics may take longer to recover from COVID-19 because they have comprised immune systems.
Both father and son also noted the disruptions that COVID-19 Coronavirus has had on their lives and how they hope vaccinations can help alleviate that, too. The younger Saucer is a student at the Middle College at Austin Peay in nearby Clarksville, Tennessee, where he takes high school and college classes.
“I take a lot of classes and interact with a lot of kids from college, so taking the vaccine will help reduce my risk of getting it or passing it to one of them,” he said. Local schools on Fort Campbell and in the surrounding community were open for face-to-face learning the entire school year but due to COVID exposures, Saucer missed blocks of instruction having to quarantine twice.
“Hopefully [the vaccine] can improve his education because if he got contact-traced before he was vaccinated, he would have to go home for 10 days. At college, that’s nearly impossible to keep on top of your studies and the advanced courses he is taking in computer science and math. He doesn’t want to miss the days, like he did that last semester. It was hard for him to recover academically so he wanted to not go through that again,” said Alan’s father.
New guidance from the CDC said those who are fully vaccinated may refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if they are asymptomatic, which may translate to fewer disruptions to Alan’s learning.
Blanchfield’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic is administering the only vaccine currently authorized for children ages 16 and 17. Any TRICARE-eligible beneficiary age 16 and older may receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Blanchfield.
Vaccines are administered by appointment only. Beneficiaries age 16 and 17, who have a vaccine appointment, must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and are the only children who may enter the vaccine clinic.
Schedule vaccine appointments by going to the hospital website at https://blanchfield.tricare.mil