Health Editor’s Note: This VA press release does not say exactly when the vaccinations will begin and what is the time frame for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines after the vaccines have been given to frontline health care employees and the residents of long-term care VA facilities. A call to your local VA and the question of “When will I be getting my vaccine?” is probably important at this time. Find out what plans they have for you and exactly how you will receive your two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. the vaccine is only being distributed to 37 VA sites. View the list in this article…..Carol
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today, the New Orleans and Bedford, Massachusetts VA Medical Centers are the first two department facilities to begin administration of COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline health care employees and Veterans residing in long-term care Community Living and Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder centers.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a preliminary plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccinations it will implement once the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for a vaccine.
VA has worked in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Operation Warp Speed to plan for COVID-19 vaccination of VA staff and Veterans.
VA will first provide vaccinations to front-line VA health care workers and Veterans residing in long-term care units in 37 of its medical centers across the country.
The centers, listed below, were chosen for their ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and store the vaccines at extremely cold temperatures.
Health care workers will be among the first to receive vaccinations because they are at high risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19 to other staff members and patients, and their health is critical to ensuring the continued care of Veterans.
Veterans in VA’s long-term care facilities will be the first patient group to be vaccinated. As vaccine supplies increase, additional Veterans will receive vaccinations based on factors such as age, existing health problems and other considerations that increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
VA anticipates a limited vaccine supply immediately after FDA’s approval, but expects more supplies to be available in short order.
“VA is well prepared and positioned to begin COVID-19 vaccinations,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Our ultimate goal is to offer it to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
The 37 VA sites chosen for initial distribution of the vaccine will closely monitor patients and staff for side effects and log this information in its vaccine monitoring and tracking system. This is the same system VA uses to monitor reactions to all vaccines, including those for the flu and shingles.