U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Please adhere to RallyPoint Answers and Discussion Conduct: https://rly.pt/33ySsg0
Due to the anticipated interest in the topic, and the possibility for receiving large amounts of questions, please be patient as the subject matter experts (SMEs) from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Health & Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) work to respond to your questions. Unanswered questions will be disseminated to the SMEs and will be responded to shortly thereafter.

VA also has a COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page here: http://rly.pt/VAcovidFAQ
Stay informed about getting the COVID-19 Vaccine here: COVID-19 vaccines: http://rly.pt/VAstayinformed

Ask questions to the following experts:
» Dr. Andrea Lerner, MD - Medical Officer, Office of the Director, NIAID, NIH
» Dr. Dr. Jane Kim, MD - Chief Consultant, Preventive Medicine, VA
» Dr. Sara Oliver, MD, MSPH, LCDR - U.S. Public Health Service, Vaccine Task Force, CDC

Access to critical Veteran COVID-19 Vaccine information:
» COVID-19 Vaccines for Veterans: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/
» Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/
» CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/ index.html
» HHS National Institute of Health Research: https://covid19.nih.gov

NIAID conducts and supports research at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. NIAID scientists and grantees are working to rapidly develop COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. These projects include conducting basic research and developing animal models to understand how the virus infects cells and causes disease, and what interventions can prevent and stop the spread of disease, as well as clinical trials evaluating therapies and vaccine candidates.

About the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP) https://www.prevention.va.gov provides leadership for Department of Veterans Affairs’ national COVID-19 vaccine planning and rollout across the country. NCP leads a multi-disciplinary team that coordinates the VA’s COVID-19 vaccine communication, allocation and distribution efforts.

NCP is a field-based national program of VA’s Office of Patient Care Services that
strives to improve the quality of life for Veterans. NCP provides health care resources
for Veterans (https://www.prevention.va.gov/For_Veterans_and_the_Public.asp) and the public relating to disease prevention and healthy living, including links to other VA and government resources. NCP provides VA clinicians with evidence-based clinician training (https://www.prevention.va.gov/For_Clinicians/), guidance, tools and resources including clinician fact sheets, patient handouts and VA- and government-wide resources to support the delivery of high-quality health promotion and disease prevention services.

NCP also produces publications including VHA Prevention Policies and Guides (https://www.prevention.va.gov/Publications/VHA_Prevention_Policies_and_Guidelines.asp), as well as its annual NCP Highlights (https://www.prevention.va.gov/Publications/) that summarizes NCP activities and accomplishments.

CDC is focused on getting Americans vaccinated and ending the COVID-19 pandemic. A strong, nationally coordinated approach is critical to ensuring ALL individuals who wish to receive vaccine can receive it. Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of five federal agencies receiving a direct allocation of vaccine from the federal government to vaccinate their frontline workforce and persons in their care. CDC has been assisting VA with planning for this direct allocation of vaccine to VA for staff and veterans by providing technical assistance to VA planners on vaccine prioritization, storage and handling, IT systems, administration and communications. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/

Team Up Against COVID-19! Register now to submit additional questions to be answered on March 4th by Dr. Fauci here: https://rly.pt/3snlqZn
Comments have been disabled
Responses: 53
CPT David Gowel
First, thank you for what you are doing to help us stay safe, keep our loved ones alive, and get back to life as usual asap. My question is around wasted vaccine doses. How can we deploy new practices to keep them from being wasted (if doses are still being wasted)? Can there be standby systems where people get text alerts if there are unused & about to expire doses, can we wait in our cars at hospital parking lots at certain times of the days, can extra doses be driven to local schools for teachers at a certain time each day, etc.?
SSG Product Manager
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
Nancy Diehl - I'm sorry but that's just not true. The COVID vaccine is a personal choice and I'd never push anyone to do something they're not comfortable with, but the information you are putting out just isn't true.
Joe Burdo
Joe Burdo
1 mo
Nancy Diehl - The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both FDA approved, and the Janssen vaccine data is currently being reviewed
https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines
LT Denise Taylor
LT Denise Taylor
1 mo
PO3 Charity Ann G - Because the vaccine doesn’t have full FDA approval, it cannot be required by the services. Please fact check first!
Dr. Jane Kim
Dr. Jane Kim
1 mo
In this limited supply phase, VA’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs, vaccine availability, hesitancy and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. By encouraging local flexibility, VA can ensure that no vaccine is wasted as we work to vaccinate all our Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.
The decision to have standby systems is determined by VA facilities at the local level. For more information, please reach out to your local facility.
To see if your local VA facility has available vaccine, please go to the local facility website. From the left column, choose “Health Care Services.” From the dropdown menu, choose “COVID-19 Vaccines.”
To find out about local vaccine availability in the community, including the potential for text alerts, local vaccine providers may be identified through the CDC vaccine locator tool. For additional options, you can also check with your state or local health department or local pharmacies as to whether text alert systems are available.

https://vaccinefinder.org/
https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
Andrea Lerner
Hello, my name is Andrea Lerner. I am an infectious diseases physician and medical officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Ryan Callahan
Ryan Callahan
1 mo
Thanks for joining us Dr. Lerner! We really appreciate having you here.
SPC Victor Sellers
SPC Victor Sellers
1 mo
Doctor, are you able to detect if a person has ever had malaria, even 50 years later? I hear it is possible. Thank you!
Victor Sellers
Capt Brandon Charters
I have had an uphill battle explaining the vaccine benifits with several close family members and fellow veterans. What is the biggest objection you’re hearing from veterans and how are you going about addressing it?
1stLt Amy Eck
1stLt Amy Eck
1 mo
An issue you may come across is that there is no evidence showing that the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus, how often it will need to be taken (possibly every 3 months), long term affects, and that is an unapproved vaccine. The virus is 99% survival by most of the military population, the vaccine may not have as high a rating.
LCpl Laurence Puco
LCpl Laurence Puco
1 mo
There is not any FDA approval, at all, already had my 1st shot, and no adverse reaction, just like boot camp, but with a shit load less needles. I actually had more arm pain with the shingles shots than the covid-19 shot; just passing on my own observation. Good luck and hoorah!
Sgt Mary Thor
Sgt Mary Thor
1 mo
PO1 Sherry Michel - Nancy and Sherry, clearly your intent is to spread fear and you cite no facts.
Dr. Jane Kim
Dr. Jane Kim
1 mo
Veterans, as well as the public, have questions about the vaccines because they are new. Many of the common facts and myths that Veterans ask about are addressed on these CDC COVID-19 vaccine sites: Frequently Asked Questions and this one which lists common myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

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