VAs can now give COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, their spouses, caregivers

Vaccinate Central Pa.

Medical staff prepares an AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine during preparations at the vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

WASHINGTON (WIAT) — President Joe Biden signed the Save Lives Act into law Thursday, allowing all Veteran’s Affairs (VA) centers across the country to provide COVID-19 vaccines.

All veterans, their spouses, caregivers and some other groups will soon be eligible to receive their doses from the VA.

“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,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said. “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.” 

VAs across the county have been administering shots to eligible veterans and their employees since the vaccine became available. As of March 24, over 1.5 million individuals have been fully vaccinated.

Pilot tests of COVID-19 vaccination sites will be conducted at select VAs throughout March and April. It is estimated that the VA will need to receive around 600,000 doses each week to fully vaccinate more than 9.5 million individuals. As of now, the VA only receives 200,000 doses each week.

Veterans looking for more information on getting their vaccines and this new legislation can click here.

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