For most of 2020, the United States has struggled with COVID-19 and all of the effects it has had on healthcare. With multiple coronavirus vaccines now approved or on their way to being approved, there may be an end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has procured doses of the vaccine for patients, and has begun administering them to patients.
The Effects of COVID-19 on the VA
Since the coronavirus first began spreading early in 2020, the VA has been forced to alter its operations to accommodate the demands imposed by the virus. They have had to substantially alter their practices to minimize infection to their patients, while also trying to give them the care they need. As a result, the entire VA system has been feeling the strain of COVID-19, not to mention the patients who have also been forced to change their lifestyles to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.
What is the Coronavirus Vaccine?
The currently approved coronavirus vaccine is intended to help those who have not yet contracted COVID-19 by giving them a resistance to the virus. The vaccine must be administered in two doses, twenty-one (21) days apart. In laboratory trials, the vaccine is said to be 95% effective in preventing future coronavirus infections.
The vaccine is not intended to help those who have already suffered due to COVID-19. It also does not help those who are currently suffering from coronavirus-related symptoms. Instead, the vaccine only helps protect those who have not yet suffered from a coronavirus infection, by immunizing them and making it significantly harder for them to transmit the virus to other people.
Who Will Receive the Vaccine?
Ultimately, the goal is for everyone, or as many people as possible, to receive the coronavirus vaccine. However, the VA is currently only delivering its vaccines to long-term healthcare workers and those living at long-term Community Living and Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder centers. This is intended to be spread to thirty-seven (37) VA healthcare facilities, as the coronavirus vaccine becomes more available.
The decision is based on supply restrictions and the demands of safely storing the vaccine. The VA does not yet have enough of a supply to vaccinate all its workers or patients, but this is expected to change as production ramps up. There are also issues due to the fact that the vaccine must be stored at extremely cold temperatures, which not every facility can accommodate. In time, however, every VA patient should be able to benefit from the coronavirus vaccine.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.