New Orleans VA prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

New Orleans VA prepares for COVID-19 vaccine
New Orleans VA prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans is one of five Veterans Affairs centers across the country preparing to receive the COVID vaccine.

According to a letter sent to veterans by the center’s Medical Director Fernando Rivera, a timeline for when the drug can be administered will become clear within the next few weeks.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is currently working with the CDC to develop a phased rollout plan for the vaccine.

“It’s very refreshing to see that the VA or the department of Veterans Affairs has a place at the table when it comes to giving the vaccine out to the American People,” said veteran Ben Armstrong, who is also a former commander for the New Orleans VFW.

He said veterans who are receiving the most care through the VA have the vulnerabilities which could increase their chances of contracting the virus.”These individuals who have sacrificed so much for the country and have taken on a burden of some significant health problems are focused as being some of the recipients for the first treatments of the vaccines,” said Armstrong.

A comforting feeling, he said, to know the VA system is focused on making sure its front line workers will be vaccinated to help cut down on any exposure to veteran patients. “I think it’s a very intelligent approach to making sure those that serve veterans at the VA hospital have access to this in a quick manner so the vulnerable population is not exposed to the virus.”

And an approach Armstrong said that other medical systems may be able to learn from.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to finalize a plan for how the vaccine will be distributed.

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