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Veterans, Military and Their Families

 

VA Pauses J&J Vaccinations Due to Extremely Rare Blood Clots

All veterans, spouses and caregivers remain eligible for Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations at VA facilities

A doctor is about to give a shot to a patient

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En español | The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is temporarily halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine over concerns that it may cause blood clots, an extremely rare side effect.

Individuals who have a vaccine appointment scheduled may work with their VA health facility to determine what to do next.

Meanwhile, all veterans, spouses, caregivers and some dependents are now eligible to receive Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at their local VA facility, as supplies are available. Previously, vaccines were being offered only to those enrolled in the VA health care system.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA?

As supply permits, the department is prioritizing the approximate 9.5 million veterans enrolled in the VA first, followed by those outlined in the bill:

  • Veterans not enrolled in the VA system, including those without service-connected disabilities and who have incomes above VA’s threshold
  • Veterans overseas who rely on the Foreign Medical Program
  • Veteran caregivers who are enrolled in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers or the Program of General Caregiver Support Services
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Programs of the VA
  • Veteran spouses

All who are interested in receiving a shot from the VA should sign up here to receive updates on the vaccine distribution process and find out when you are eligible to make an appointment. Additional information is provided on its COVID-19 vaccination page.

Veterans who already receive care through the VA will be contacted by their local facility once they can get a vaccine. To learn about your facility’s individual plan, visit its website and go to “Health care services,” then select “COVID-19” in the menu.


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Your VA facility may invite you to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event or by appointment via phone call, email or text message. However, due to the rise of COVID-19 vaccination scams targeting veterans, make sure the communication is really from the VA before you provide any personal information or click on a link. (Text messages will always come from 53079 and emails from a va.gov email address.)

Select VA medical centers will be conducting pilot programs in March and April to account for the additional individuals included in the legislation. This will help work out the process of operating, staffing, registration, scheduling, documentation and communication.

Vaccinations completed so far

The VA administered more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at over 250 locations since its campaign to vaccinate the millions of veterans enrolled in its system began Dec. 14.

As of March 25, the VA has fully vaccinated more than 1.3 million veterans and over 1.5 million individuals altogether, which accounts for VA employees and other federal partners.

The number of doses administered to veterans by each facility is being updated on the VA COVID-19 Summary website. (See a list of several locations administering vaccines at the bottom of this page.)

At the start of the VA’s vaccination campaign, health care workers were selected to be among the first to be vaccinated because of their high risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

As vaccine supplies increase, additional individuals will receive vaccinations based on age, existing health problems and other factors that increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. The vaccines will be offered at no cost.

The VA recently unveiled a new tool that identifies veterans based on age or underlying conditions. It also shows current disease treatments, including chemotherapy or dialysis, and other risk factors for severe cases of COVID-19, such as smoking or obesity. The department can then provide its medical facilities with a list of who should receive the vaccine first.

Meanwhile, veterans can sign up to get updated information through the VA’s Keep Me Informed tool.

How to Receive Updates From VA and Know When Your COVID Vaccine Is Ready

Veterans, spouses, caregivers and some dependents will be contacted when a vaccine is ready for them. Meanwhile, there are a variety of ways to stay updated and to obtain information on the department’s vaccine rollout.

Sign up to receive periodic updates from the VA and to let representatives know about your desire to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This helps the department better prepare its vaccine distribution plans.

Visit the VA’s coronavirus FAQ page for answers to routine and nonurgent questions.

Message the VA coronavirus chatbot to get answers to your questions about COVID-19, VA benefits and services.

Call 800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) and press 8 to be connected to the VA Vaccine Hotline to ask questions about the vaccine or other coronavirus-related topics.

Note: VA call centers and health facilities are experiencing a high number of calls. To help prioritize the most urgent needs, the department asks veterans to use its online tools first.

Vaccination options for caregivers

In late January, VA health care facilities began offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to family caregivers of veterans in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers and most recently to those in the Program of General Caregiver Support Services.

Each local VA facility will decide when it will begin offering vaccines to caregivers, based on its specific resources, needs and vaccine availability. Vaccinations will be offered first to those who are at the greatest risk of severe complications from the coronavirus.

Caregivers are encouraged to sign up to receive updates from the VA’s COVID-19 vaccine page.

For more information, visit VA’s Caregiver Support Program, contact your local facility’s VA Caregiver Support Coordinator or call the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274.

Vaccination options for Tricare members

The Department of Defense is prioritizing the distribution of vaccines to those who provide direct medical care, maintain essential national security and installation functions, and deploy forces, as well as to those at the highest risk for developing severe illness from the virus. After these initial groups are vaccinated, vaccines will become available for other beneficiaries in phases.

Right now, the COVID-19 vaccine is available only at certain locations throughout the U.S. and overseas. Later, vaccines will be broadly available at:

Tricare says that it is working to ensure beneficiaries have no out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, you can sign up for email alerts from Tricare here as more vaccine news becomes available.

‘A Herculean effort’

The VA currently receives approximately 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines each week and estimates that it needs a minimum of 300,000 doses to offer vaccination to an additional 3 million veterans who are enrolled but not currently using VA health care. To further expand vaccination to all the individuals outlined in the SAVE LIVES Act, it will require approximately 600,000 single doses of vaccine each week.

“This will be a long process for us to reach all 7 million veterans who we believe will want vaccinations from us, as well as all 400,000 employees at the agency,” Richard Stone, M.D., executive in charge at the VA’s Veterans Health Administration, said at a Senate hearing before the vaccine’s rollout.

Since both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses delivered at different times, Stone said, the “tracking of the veteran and employee who receives them is going to be a Herculean effort.”

VA locations administering COVID-19 vaccines

Note: Due to the rapidly changing supply of vaccine in stock and new locations offering shots, this list does not represent all locations available in the VA system.

Alabama  

  • Birmingham VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Central Alabama VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Alaska

  • Anchorage VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Arizona

  • Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Phoenix VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Southern Arizona (Tucson) VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Arkansas

  • Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (Moderna)

California

  • Central California VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Greater Los Angeles VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Livermore VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Loma Linda VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Long Beach VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Menlo Park VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Northern California VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Palo Alto (California) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • San Diego VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • San Francisco VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Colorado

  • Eastern Colorado VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Grand Junction VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Connecticut

  • West Haven Campus VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

District of Columbia

  • Washington D.C. VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

Delaware

  • Wilmington VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Florida

  • Bay Pines VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Jacksonville VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • James A. Haley Veterans Hospital (Pfizer)
  • Lake Baldwin VA Outpatient Clinic (Pfizer)
  • Lake City VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Lee County VA Health Care Center (Moderna)
  • Miami VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • New Port Richey VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • North Florida/South Georgia Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Orlando VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Sergeant Ernest I. “Boots” Thomas VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • South Hillsborough VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • The Villages VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • West Palm Beach VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • William “Bill” Kling VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • William V. Chappell, Jr. VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • Viera VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)

Georgia

  • Atlanta VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Augusta (Georgia) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Carl Vinson VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Hawaii

  • Pacific Islands (Honolulu) VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Idaho

  • Boise VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Illinois

  • Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (North Chicago) (Moderna)
  • Edward J. Hines Jr. VA Hospital (Illinois) (Pfizer)
  • Jesse Brown (Chicago) VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Illiana (Danville) VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Marion VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Indiana

  • Indianapolis VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Marion VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Iowa

  • Central Iowa (Des Moines) VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Iowa City VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Kansas

  • Colmery–O’Neil VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Kentucky

  • Lexington (Kentucky) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Louisville VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Louisiana

  • Alexandria VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Southeast Louisiana VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

Maine

  • Maine VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Maryland

  • Baltimore VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Perry Point VA Medical Center (Pfizer)

Massachusetts

  • Bedford (Massachusetts) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Boston VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Northampton VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Michigan

  • Ann Arbor (Michigan) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Battle Creek VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Detroit VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Iron Mountain VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Saginaw VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Minnesota

  • Minneapolis (Minnesota) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • St. Cloud VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Mississippi

  • Gulf Coast VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Missouri

  • Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital (Pfizer)
  • Kansas City VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Poplar Bluff VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • St. Louis VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

Montana

  • Montana (Fort Harrison) VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Nebraska

  • Omaha VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

Nevada

  • Sierra Nevada (Reno) VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Southern Nevada (North Las Vegas) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

New Hampshire

  • Manchester VA Medical Center (Moderna)

New Jersey

  • Lyons VA Medical Center (Moderna)

New Mexico

  • Raymond G. Murphy (Albuquerque) VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

New York

  • Albany VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Canandaigua VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Castle Point VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • James J. Peters Bronx VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • New York Harbor Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Northport VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Syracuse VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Western New York VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

North Carolina

  • Asheville VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Durham VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Fayetteville VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Greenville VA Health Care Center (Moderna)
  • Kernersville VA Health Care Center (Moderna)
  • Raeford Road VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • Salisbury VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • South Charlotte VA Health Care Center  (Moderna)
  • Wilmington VA Health Care Center (Moderna)

North Dakota

  • Fargo VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Ohio

  • Chillicothe VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Cincinnati VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Cleveland VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center (Moderna)
  • Dayton VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Oklahoma

  • Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Oklahoma City VA Health Care System (Pfizer)

Oregon

  • Portland VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Roseburg VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (White City) (Moderna)

Pennsylvania

  • Altoona VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Butler VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Coatesville VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Erie VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Lebanon VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Pittsburgh VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Puerto Rico

  • Caribbean VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Euripides Rubio VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)
  • Mayaguez VA Outpatient Clinic (Moderna)

South Carolina

  • Charleston VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Columbia VA Medical Center (Moderna)

South Dakota

  • Black Hills VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Sioux Falls VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Tennessee

  • Memphis VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Mountain Home VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Tennessee Valley VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Texas

  • Amarillo VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital (San Antonio, Texas) (Pfizer)
  • Central Texas VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Dallas VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • El Paso VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • Kerrville VA Hospital (Pfizer)
  • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Texas Valley Coastal VA Health Care System (Moderna)
  • West Texas (Big Spring) VA Health Care System (Moderna)      

Utah

  • Salt Lake City VA Health Care System (Moderna)

Vermont

  • White River Junction VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Virginia

  • Hampton VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Richmond VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Salem VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Washington

  • American Lake VA Medical Center (Pfizer)
  • Puget Sound VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Spokane VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Walla Walla VA Medical Center (Moderna)

West Virginia

  • Beckley VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Clarksburg VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Huntington VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Martinsburg VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Wisconsin

  • Madison VA Hospital (Moderna)
  • Milwaukee VA Health Care System (Pfizer)
  • Tomah VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Wyoming

  • Cheyenne VA Medical Center (Moderna)
  • Sheridan VA Medical Center (Moderna)

Editor’s note: This article, originally published Dec. 11, 2020, has been updated with the latest information.

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