Bath, Canandaigua VAs begin COVID-19 vaccinations

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

The Bath and Canandaigua VA Medical Centers have begun COVID-19 vaccinations for all veterans enrolled in VA health care, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, the vaccine has already been given to front-line health care staff and veterans in the Community Living Centers (nursing home level of care) at both the Bath and Canandaigua VA sites.

Starting Jan. 14, veterans 75 years and older began to receive the vaccine. Veterans are being asked not to call VA for appointments. Medical Center staff is currently reaching out to eligible veterans to schedule appointments for the vaccine based on overall risk criteria. There is no need for veterans to preregister or come to the facility to sign up.

“We have already identified and started to call veterans to schedule appointments for them to be vaccinated. At this time we advise them to continue to mask, to physical distance and to practice frequent handwashing in order to do their part in getting COVID 19 under control,” said Bruce Tucker, director of the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System.

The VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System was one of 113 VA Medical Centers across the country to receive the first 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% effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.

Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on VA’s Stay Informed page.

Starting Jan. 14, veterans 75 years and older began to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at the Canandaigua (pictured) and Bath VA medical centers.