VA will begin Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations this week at 128 additional sites. Six sites in California:
- Central California (Fresno) VA Health Care System
- Northern California (Mather) VA Health Care System
- San Francisco VA Medical Center
- Long Beach VA Health Care System
- Loma Linda VA Health Care System
- San Diego VA Health Care System
On Dec. 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized.
“Having a second COVID-19 vaccine will enable us to reach more facilities and vaccinate more health care personnel and Veterans in additional parts of the country,” said VA Secretary Robert L. Wilkie. “We continue to implement our COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan and are grateful to be one step closer to seeing the end of this pandemic.”
Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, VA will continue to vaccinate health care personnel, as well as community living center and spinal cord unit residents. As vaccine supplies increase, VA’s ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.
113 US VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) and outpatient clinics will receive limited Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supplies this week.
Sites were identified based on need for the vaccine according to CDC’s 1a prioritization and after confirming they could appropriately store the vaccine at -20C. Since the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine remains stable in regular refrigeration, VA expects to distribute it to more facilities when supplies are available.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease, based on scientific data presented at FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee on December 17. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.
Thirty-seven VA medical centers began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to eligible health care personnel and Veterans Dec 14. Additionally, VA is scheduled to receive another allocation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week. Fifteen VA facilities plan to start administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after they receive their allocations. They are:
Palo Alto (Livermore) VA Medical Center
Palo Alto (Menlo Park) VA Medical Center
As vaccines become available, VA care teams will reach out to eligible Veterans to schedule vaccinations. There is no need to preregister or come to a facility to sign up.
Veterans can get up-to-date information and sign up to receive regular updates on VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage.