VA Urges Veterans to Get New COVID Booster
The Department of Veterans Affairs encourages all veterans to get the updated COVID-19 booster shot approved for 2023-2024.
A surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and elsewhere has raised concerns; published sources note that COVID-19 infections have increased by as much as 200% among the veteran population, an uptick worrying some VA officials.
According to Military Times, the Department of Veterans Affairs had a maximum of 70 thousand COVID-19 cases in 2022. By comparison, the roughly 5,500 cases in the VA system at press time in 2023 is relatively small. But the numbers are on the rise at press time.
But those smaller numbers are cold comfort for the families of some 300 veterans who have died of coronavirus-related issues since June 2023. Veterans with pre-existing conditions who become ill with coronavirus in the 2023 surge are especially vulnerable.
A new CCD-approved vaccine for 2023-2024 can help prevent COVID or reduce its effects, and Department of Veterans Affairs facilities offer the new booster for those enrolled in the VA healthcare system.
Centers For Disease Control Guidance on the COVID-19 Booster
Get a single dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 booster if it has been at least two months since your last vaccination. You should consider a single vaccination if you have never had a coronavirus vaccination before.
Those with compromised immune systems or other preexisting conditions may qualify to get extra doses of the 2023-2024 vaccine.
VA.gov reports the CDC says those who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Pregnant people are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Severe illness may mean having to go to the hospital, needing a ventilator to breathe, or having an illness that results in death. Pregnant people also have an increased risk of preterm birth.”
The booster is also encouraged for those who have previously gotten COVID-19 but are not inoculated against the latest variant.
VA.gov reminds us that there is no cure for COVID-19 at press time. According to the most current scientific evidence available at press time, prevention is the best approach to the illness.
How To Get an Updated COVID-19 Booster Shot at the VA
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers COVID-19 vaccines to those enrolled in VA health care and deemed eligible for the shot. You can get vaccinated at a VA site with walk-in vaccine clinic hours or you can make an appointment at a VA facility offering the shots.
COVID-19 booster shots are not offered at all VA sites, and not all VA healthcare facilities have walk-in hours. It is best to call ahead to the facility of your choice before traveling there to get vaccinated or boosted.
Who Should Get the COVID-19 Booster?
The Centers For Disease Control approved a new COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for all patients older than six months. You may be approved for the new booster if you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last few weeks.
The CDC notes that vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19, and the shot may help prevent “long COVID” where coronavirus symptoms or side effects from the infection linger for an extended period even after the patient otherwise recovers.
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About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.