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Lebanon VAMC begins scheduling COVID-19 vaccine for Veterans 75 or older

Lebanon VAMC begins scheduling COVID-19 vaccine for Veterans 75 or older

Lebanon, Pa.  Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) announced it will begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for Veterans aged 75 years and older this week. All Veterans, regardless of their age or priority group, may indicate their interest in receiving the COVID vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page. Veterans do not need to contact the medical center to schedule an appointment for the vaccine; instead, VA staff will contact and schedule them based on priority and availability of vaccine.

“We are excited to move to phase 1b in our vaccine distribution plan and offer the COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans who are 75 or older,” said Stuart A. Roop, MD, Lebanon VA Chief of Staff. “As we follow the guidelines established with the CDC and Veterans Health Administration for prioritizing supplies of the vaccine, we are anxious to share this with Veterans who are particularly susceptible to the devastating effects of COVID-19 because of their age or pre-existing health conditions. As the vaccine supply increases, we’ll begin distributing it to our 5 community clinics for scheduled appointments and move into phase 1c which includes Veterans 65-74 and Veterans with high-risk medical conditions.”

Lebanon VAMC was one of 113 VA Medical Centers across the country to receive the first limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Sites were identified based on need for the vaccine according to CDC’s 1A prioritization and capacity to store the vaccine at -20C. The medical center began providing vaccines to high-risk front-line staff and community living center patients on December 21, 2020.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, Veterans should continue wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing and washing their hands often.

As vaccines become available for more groups of Veterans, VA care teams will reach out to eligible Veterans to schedule vaccinations. There is no need to call or come to a facility to sign up.

Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on December 11, 2020, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page.