TAMPA, Fla. – James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital & Clinics began COVID-19 vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday, following VA’s announcement of additional vaccine shipments to VA facilities.
“James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital & Clinics is thrilled to offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and Veteran spinal cord unit patients and community living center residents,” said David VanMeter, interim director of the medical center. “With this vaccine, we have renewed hope. As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
Thirty-seven medical centers began offering the first limited supply of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and Veterans Dec 14.
James A. Haley was one of 15 additional VA facilities to receive an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 21, and joins 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. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that in clinical trials the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered as a series of 2 doses, 21 days apart.
The side effects for both appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.
Even after receiving COVID-19 vaccination, employees and veterans should continue wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing and washing hands often.
As vaccines become available for more groups of veterans, VA care teams will reach out to eligible Veterans to schedule vaccinations. There is no need to preregister or come to a facility to sign up.
Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on December 11, 2020, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page. They may also contact their health care provider or call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center toll-free at 1-877-741-3400.