WEST PALM BEACH — On Feb. 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration vaccinated its 1 millionth veteran with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has administered nearly 23,000 doses of the vaccine to local veterans. The VA began COVID-19 immunizations in December 2020.
VA’s COVID-19 National Summary publishes vaccination data daily on veterans, including information on employee and federal partner vaccinations. For those reviewing the site, when an individual receives both doses from VA, they have completed their vaccine course; therefore, “second dose” and “completed” are synonymous.
VA follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the VA COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan. During the limited supply phase, VA facilities have made progress through CDC Phase 1a and are offering vaccines to veterans in Phase 1b, which includes veterans aged 75 and older. However, some sites are offering vaccine to additional veterans at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as supply permits.
“VA guidance encourages local flexibility in order to maximize COVID-19 vaccine access and efficiency and limit potential vaccine waste,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D. “In this limited supply phase, our COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs, vaccine availability, and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of available vaccines.”
West Palm Beach VA Medical Center Director Cory Price said, “We are encouraged by the number of Treasure Coast and South Florida Veterans we have been able to vaccinate so far and look forward to meeting VA’s goal of offering vaccines to all eligible veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is reaching out to veterans who are eligible for vaccination. Walk-in access is being offered throughout the remainder of this week. Local veterans who would like additional information can visit www.westpalmbeach.va.gov.