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Northern Arizona VA Health Care System begins COVID-19 vaccinations

Recently, the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) began administering COVID-19 inoculations using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine. 

“The Northern Arizona VA is eager to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to our health care personnel and Veterans in our Community Living Center,” said Jean Gurga, medical center director. “Receiving the vaccine is like having hope delivered. As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans and employees who wish to be vaccinated.”

NAVAHCS is one of 113 VA medical centers across the country to receive the first limited 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 -20C. 

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease. It is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived. 

Even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, employees and Veterans are advised to continue wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and washing their hands often. As vaccines become more widely available, VA health care teams will reach out to eligible Veterans to schedule vaccinations. There is no need to preregister or visit a VA facility to sign-up. 

Veterans may receive up-to-date information on VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage and sign-up to receive regular updates on the VA’s Stay Informed page.

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