COVID-19 Veteran vaccination update - Montana VA Health Care System
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Montana VA Health Care System

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COVID-19 Veteran vaccination update

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Montana VA Health Care System will call you when you are eligible to schedule your vaccination appointment. There is nothing you need to do at this time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Updated Feb. 23, 2021

As of Feb. 24, 2021, MTVAHCS will have provided first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to over 5,500 Montana Veterans (over 11 percent of all enrolled Montana Veterans) in 10 different Montana towns and at 26 vaccine clinics. For the latest and most updated vaccine numbers, please reference the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs website and filter the summary to be for Montana.

As vaccine doses become available, MTVAHCS will continue holding vaccination events around the state and will do so until all enrolled Veterans who want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are immunized.

MTVAHCS contacts Veterans to schedule vaccine appointments to ensure that the Veterans in your community who have the greatest risk with COVID-19 receive the vaccine first.

First, vaccines are available by appointment only. Vaccines are not distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. MTVAHCS distributes vaccines with the use of risk assessments that identify which Veterans have the greatest risk if exposed to COVID-19. High risk Veterans are identified as persons 75 years or older and any Veteran who has a medical condition that may put them at increased risk based on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) risk criteria and VA guidance.

Factors in evaluating risk include:

  • The risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 increases with age.
  • Existing health problems.People with certain health problems (like diabetes, heart disease, or obesity) have a higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
  • Other factors that raise a person's risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, such as living in a nursing home or other group living facility.

As you are identified by clinical staff to be within each risk level to receive the Moderna vaccine, a MTVAHCS healthcare team member will contact you to schedule a vaccine appointment.

If you have questions about receiving the vaccine, please do not hesitate to send your healthcare team a secure message through MyHealtheVet or call 844-819-0833 to set up a time to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine.

Each time a clinic happens, MTVAHCS calls the highest risk Veterans first to schedule appointments. As more vaccines become available, we will plan more clinics across the state and move down the list until all enrolled Veterans who want the vaccine have received their first and second doses. At the time of your vaccine appointment, MTVAHCS will schedule your second vaccine appointment approximately four weeks later.

We need your help to make sure you receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Due to the compressed time frame to schedule and distribute vaccines, we strongly encourage you to answer and return any calls from MTVAHCS. If you have a voicemail from MTVAHCS about a vaccine clinic, please call us immediately so we know if you want the vaccine. Please know that any Veteran who missed their call will be in the first group to be called the next time.

Enrolled Montana Veterans who are eligible for community care receive COVID-19 vaccines from non-MTVAHCS urgent care locations and retail pharmacies.

VA’s Community Care Network (CCN) urgent care locations and retail pharmacies now offer COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide for eligible Veterans in accordance with local, state or territorial vaccination plans.

VA is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to provide COVID-19 vaccines to eligible Veterans at VA medical facilities and in-network community locations. VA is currently distributing COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans who receive care at VA and are at a high risk from COVID-19 based on VA and CDC risk criteria. As more vaccines become available, VA remains committed to providing vaccinations to all eligible Veterans.

By enabling CCN providers and pharmacies to deliver free vaccine-only services to Veterans, VA is directly contributing to the nation’s critical need for additional inoculation locations. This opportunity does not give eligible Veterans priority over others seeking vaccinations at any location.

Community care eligible Veterans can identify in-network urgent care facilities and retail pharmacies by using VA’s facility locator (enter in your zip code and search by facility type).  Eligible Veterans are encouraged to call the community care provider of choice to ensure the site has vaccines available and to determine if an appointment is available. Veterans are encouraged to download the pharmacy information card to present at the community care location where the vaccine is being administered.

As with all health care in the community, Veterans are encouraged to consult local and state resources for COVID-19 vaccination availability and consider VA facilities for the vaccination.

Stay updated with the latest MTVAHCS COVID-19 vaccine information

Veterans can follow COVID-19 vaccination updates via email (sign up here), Facebook (@VAMontana), or Twitter (@VAMontanaHCS). If a Veteran has questions about receiving the vaccine, they can send their healthcare team a secure message through MyHealtheVet or call (877) 468-8387 (Option 2) to set up a time to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch the Virtual Town Hall from Feb. 25

If you couldn't participate in MTVAHCS’s virtual town hall on Thursday, Feb 25, you can watch the Facebook video replay. We answered your questions about COVID-19, the Moderna vaccine, and MTVAHCS’s vaccine distribution plan.

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