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Military & Veterans' Issues

COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available To More Veterans In Central Texas

A medical student receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Dell Medical School in Austin on Dec. 15, 2020.
A medical student receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Dell Medical School in Austin on Dec. 15, 2020.

The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is expanding the rollout of its coronavirus vaccination plan. While the timeframe of receiving a vaccine depends on availability, some veterans 75 years or older may be able to get their first dose as soon as this weekend.

During the holidays, veterans living in the Central Texas VA facility's community living center and high-risk employees were vaccinated first. About 1,800 employees and 100 veterans have gotten the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine since Jan. 6.

Staff moved on to vaccinating veterans 85 years or older next, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We have several thousand doses for Veterans 85 and older; however, if unused, we will expand to younger Veterans,” said Medical Center Director Michael L. Kiefer.

Those unused doses will now be given to enrolled veterans 75 years or older.

VA staff is contacting eligible veterans to schedule vaccine appointments at VA campuses in Waco, Temple and Austin. Caregivers or family members do not qualify for the vaccine.

Proof of VA enrollment is required to get vaccinated. That identification will also be checked when scheduling the second dose, which is administered about 21 days after the first.

While the timeframe of receiving a vaccine depends on availability, some veterans 75 years or older may be able to get their first dose as soon as this weekend.

The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center at 1901 Veterans Memorial Drive in Temple from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies last. Veterans should call 1-800-423-2111 and press #2 to sign up for an appointment. Walk-ups will be accepted until 2 p.m. Long wait times are expected.

There’s more information on the COVID-19 vaccination plan for veterans in Central Texas .

Got a tip? Email Dani Matias at dmatias@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @Matias7Dani

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