VA Central Iowa Health Care System
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines. VA is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance to pause in providing the Janssen vaccine at this time. This pause is due to a concern about possible rare side effects. Your safety is our top priority. For more information, go to the CDC website. Read the CDC and FDA statement on the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled, your VA health facility will work with you to determine what to do next.
Congress has passed a new law that allows us to offer COVID-19 vaccines to more people. VA is now able to offer vaccine to the following groups who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine at VA when their local VA facilities have enough vaccine:
- Spouse of a Veteran
- Caregivers of a Veteran
- Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits
The best way to stay informed is to sign up to tell us you'd like to get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA. Your local VA facility will then contact you when they have a vaccine for you.
For your continued health and safety during this pandemic, please don't come to a VA health facility to request a COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment unless you are coming to a specific scheduled event such as a walk-in clinic or drive-through clinic that does not require an appointment.
Note: Your employer, pharmacy, or local public health officials may offer you a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to take the first opportunity you have to get a vaccine at the most convenient location for you.
VA Central Iowa Health Care System Local Update - Friday, March 26, 2021
On behalf of the VA Central Iowa Health Care System, we want to thank our veteran community for their patience and understanding as we continue vaccinating eligible Veterans for the COVID-19 vaccine. We are striving to keep everyone safe and healthy during the pandemic.
VA Central Iowa Health Care System is hosting daily vaccine clinics at the main campus and weekly vaccine clinics at the community outpatient clinics in Carroll, Fort Dodge, Knoxville, Marshalltown, and Mason City.
VA Central Iowa HCS has medical support teams reaching out to enrolled Veterans that fall in this Phase categories and scheduling them for future appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no need to call or come to the VA Central Iowa Health Care System facility or the CBOCs to sign up for the vaccine.
If you decide to get a COVID-19 vaccine outside of VA, we encourage you to share this information with your VA health care team. You can send a picture of your vaccination record card to your VA provider through secure messaging. You can also add your vaccine information to your My HealtheVet health summary for your own records. To add your information, you’ll need a Premium My HealtheVet account. Learn more about managing your COVID-19 vaccine records online.
If you receive the first dose with a provider in the community, VA Central Iowa HCS will not be able to administer the second dose. This is based on our allocation and the distribution of the vaccine. For every first dose that the VA receives, we receive a matching second dose thus ensuring that all will receive both doses as medically indicated.
While vaccinations are underway, it is imperative that we continue the prevention practices we have used throughout the pandemic. These COVID-19 prevention practices keep our community safe until enough people are vaccinated. VA Central Iowa HCS is following the Executive Order signed by President Biden on January 20, 2021 requiring mask wear and other public health measures to reduce the spread of the disease.
- VA Central Iowa staff, patients, and Veterans arriving for appointments will be required to wear a mask at all times and stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Wearing a mask and keeping your distance protects you and others.
- Wash your hands frequently and stay home when you are sick.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to vaccinate our Veterans!
SAVES LIVES ACT Update
On March 24, 2021, the President signed the Save Lives Act which expands VA's authority to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. SAVE LIVES Act allows VA to soon provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, their spouses and caregivers. The law allows the VA to offer COVID-19 vaccines to more Veterans, some spouses, and caregivers of Veterans. It is still early in the planning phase, and we are waiting on guidance from national VA on how this will be implemented. The referenced press release states that VA will conduct COVID-19 vaccination pilots for the individuals named in HR1276 at select VA medical centers.
At this time, we still have a limited amount of vaccines. We’re working to determine how quickly we can begin to offer vaccines to these other groups.
- In the meantime, Veterans, caregivers, spouses, and CHAMPVA beneficiaries newly eligible under the law can go to www.va.gov/covid-19-vaccine to register and indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine from VA. Signing up will also give users regular updates about VA’s vaccine rollout process.
- Veterans can also sign up to get vaccinated through their employer, pharmacy or local public health office. We encourage Veterans to take the first opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Veterans can visit the VA’s main page www.va.gov and click on link near the top of the page “vaccine information page”.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we prepare to offer more vaccines.
Guidance on the implementation date form the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin vaccinating an expanded population of veterans, spouses and caregivers May 1. In addition to getting more doses, the VA must establish a system to report the vaccinations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- VA Central Iowa Health Care System
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