Information for You & Your Family
- When Vaccine Supply is Limited, Who Gets Vaccinated First?
- What to Expect at Your COVID-19 Vaccination Visit
- Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
- Different COVID-19 Vaccines
- Ensuring Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccines Work
- Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccination
COVID-19 Vaccines at the VA
The VA is working closely with the CDC and other federal partners to plan for COVID-19 vaccines to VA health care personnel and Veterans. For future updates, click here.
- Under a phased plan, the VA will first offer vaccines to VA personnel and Veterans in long-term care facilities.
Vaccinating high-risk VA health care personnel will help the VA continue to provide care for Veterans. Those considered at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 will be vaccinated as well: older people, people with certain health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, or obesity), and factors such as living in a nursing home or the group living facility.
- As the supply of vaccine increases, the VA will work with care teams to let Veterans know of options. When the time comes, Veterans will not need to sign up to get a vaccine.
Vaccines will start out being offered through certain medical centers due to special storage and handling. As more vaccine is available, the VA will determine if it can provide vaccines through the community provider network.
- As more vaccines are made available, Veterans enrolled in VA health care will be offered the vaccine for free if wanted.
- The VA will closely monitor everyone who gets vaccinated for reactions, side effects, or adverse events.
The information will be reported into a vaccine monitoring and tracking system used to monitor reactions to all vaccines, including those for the flu and shingles.
- The VA won’t share names or street addresses of anyone who gets vaccinated.
Information that is regularly shared for other vaccines will be shared with the CDC such as demographic information (age, gender, race, and ethnicity) and adverse reactions. The data will help the CDC understand which groups of people are receiving the vaccine.
- There is a way you can help with the development of vaccines for COVID-19.
VA is offering clinical trials to test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer: Veterans, family members and friends. Sign up online at www.va.gov/coronavirus-research. You’ll be called to learn more if there’s a study or clinical trial that seems right for you.
Guidance from the CDC on the current and future vaccines for COVID-19
- The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Two doses are needed.
You need 2 doses of the currently available COVID-19 vaccine. A second shot 3 weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease.
- Right, the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
Because the current supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is limited, CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. Learn more about who should be vaccinated first when vaccine supplies are limited.
- There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
- After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.
The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.
- Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fundexternal icon.
- The first COVID-19 vaccine is being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested.
Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authorityexternal icon and watch a video on what an EUA is. If more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. All ACIP-recommended vaccines will be included in the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program. CDC continues to work at all levels with partners, including healthcare associations, on a flexible COVID-19 vaccination program that can accommodate different vaccines and adapt to different scenarios. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have developed distribution plans to make sure all recommended vaccines are available to their communities.
- COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.
It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.