The FDA recently authorized Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, the second vaccine to be approved amid the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history. Initial shipments of the Moderna vaccine left a distribution center Sunday.
"Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is eager to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and community living center residents," said director Michael L. Kiefer. "Receiving the vaccine is like having hope delivered. As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all Veterans and staff who want to be vaccinated."
The Central Texas VA says it is 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 -20◦C.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease, according to the Central Texas VA. 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 medical centers began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and Veterans on Dec. 14. Fifteen additional VA facilities will receive an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System still recommends staff and veterans should continue wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands often.
As vaccines become available for more groups of veterans, VA care teams will reach out to eligible veterans to schedule vaccinations, says the Central Texas VA. There is no need to preregister or come to a facility to sign up.
Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page.
For more information, veterans may contact their primary care provider by secure messaging or calling 1-800-423-2111.