More than 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to Vets - VA Rocky Mountain Network
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VA Rocky Mountain Network

 

More than 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to Vets

A female nurse administers a vaccine to a male Veteran

Retiree Maria Fruin vaccinates a Veteran at Salt Lake City VA. After three years of retirement, Fruin rejoined the workforce to help do her part during the pandemic (photo by Bert Estrada).

By Jason Strickland, Public Affairs Officer
Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Veterans Affairs (VA) Rocky Mountain Network announced today that it has now vaccinated more than 100,000 unique Veterans under its care, reaching a critical milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

The VA Rocky Mountain Network, also known as Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19, has provided 181,912 doses of either the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or single-dose Janssen vaccines, for a total of 86,651 Veterans fully vaccinated.

“The focus of our COVID-19 vaccination effort is to offer protection to as many individuals in our Veteran community as possible,” said Ralph Gigliotti, VISN 19 Network Director. “We will prioritize vaccines for our enrolled Veterans and our workforce delivering care, and work to reach the remaining groups identified in the SAVE LIVES Act, as vaccine supply permits.”

Serving the largest geographic area in the 48 contiguous United States, VA selected VISN 19 to pilot efforts to reach rural and highly rural Veterans by flying COVID-19 vaccine to some of the most remote areas in Montana, contributing to its 100,000 vaccination milestone.

“We are taking deliberate steps to ensure our supply chain and distribution efforts can reach the boundaries of our network,” said Sunaina Kumar-Giebel, VISN 19 Deputy Network Director.

As of Apr. 18, VISN 19 has vaccinated more than 30% of rural Veterans, and 25% of highly rural Veterans. VA uses the Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) system to define rurality.

VISN 19 also expanded access to the vaccine through the recently-signed SAVE LIVES Act. The enhanced authority allows VA to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all Veterans, regardless of their VA health care enrollment status, as well as Veteran spouses, caregivers, and some beneficiaries, dependent upon supply. Thus far, VISN 19 has administered more than 762 vaccines to those who are now eligible under the Act. Persons eligible to receive the vaccine can stay informed and express their interest by visiting: www.va.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

VA health care systems will continue to administer vaccines until every Veteran receiving VA health care has been offered the vaccine.

For more information on vaccine availability and how to schedule an appointment, visit:

Veterans who do not currently receive care at VA can learn more about VA health care eligibility criteria at www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/.

VA publishes the number of Veterans who have received vaccines at VA facilities across the country on the COVID-19 National Summary website.

graphic of covid 19 stats - all information contained in text

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