The Department of Veterans Affairs will soon provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all veterans, their spouses and caregivers regardless of whether or not they receive their healthcare through the VA.
Signed into law at the end of March, the SAVES LIVES Act removed some of the legal limits on the medical care VA can provide to veterans.
“The SAVE LIVES Act increases the number of individuals who are eligible to get lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines from VA from 9.5 million to more than 33 million,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough in a release. “Meeting the task of vaccinating this expanded population will be a tremendous undertaking for the VA and will require a significant increase in our allocation of vaccine supply, but I am confident that VA’s workforce is up to the task.”
All veterans, those currently receiving care through the VA or not, can sign up online. When a vaccine comes available, their local VA facility will notify veterans of appointments or vaccine events availability by phone, text messages from 53079 or e-mail from a va.gov e-mail address.
Public Affairs Specialist Joe Williams, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs shared additional information regarding the program.
“Please check out your local VA medical center websites for the latest updates regarding vaccine availability. Several pilot facilities with adequate vaccine supply have already started rollout of the SAVES LIVES Act and it is anticipated the number of VA facilities able to provide vaccination will gradually increase as the allocation of vaccine increases in the coming weeks,” Williams said.
To find a nearby VA medical facility call MyVA411 main information line at 800-698-2411, TTY 711, or go online.
DK McDonald is an award-winning Arizona-based writer. She comes from a multi-generational military family, spanning all branches of service. She is also a former Army spouse.