Highlights New Law Expanding VA Vaccine Eligibility
Apr 01 2021
LITTLE ROCK – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, brought his ‘Shots in ARms’ tour to Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in Pine Bluff and Conway.
Boozman applauded employees for their efforts to vaccinate veterans against COVID-19. The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) has administered more than 25,000 doses of the vaccine. As of March 30, the VA has fully vaccinated 20,518 individuals statewide including 17,000 veterans and 3,500 employees.
“The Pine Bluff and Conway CBOCs have helped establish the VA as a leading vaccine provider across the country. It is inspiring to see employees working toward the goal of vaccinating veterans and using all available resources to reach individuals in rural areas,” Boozman said. “It takes a team effort to get us on the path to normalcy and I’m grateful for the tremendous work making that happen in Arkansas.”
“Getting the vaccine into Veterans’ arms is one of our highest priorities,” said Dr. Margie Scott, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Medical Center director. “We have a strong vaccination program with multiple clinics, a convenient drive-through in North Little Rock and a hard-working mobile team providing life-saving vaccinations at all of our outpatient clinics. CAVHS stands ready to serve Veterans all across our system and to do our part in ending this pandemic.”
Veteran Lewis Sipes received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Pine Bluff CBOC on Wednesday.
The emphasis on COVID-19 vaccination efforts comes on the heels of Boozman’s bipartisan Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse (SAVE LIVES) Act being signed into law last week. The legislation authorizes the VA to vaccinate all veterans, their spouses, caregivers and some dependents to the extent that vaccines are available. The new law also urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to adjust the VA's vaccine allocation based on this increased eligibility.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done in Congress to ensure the VA has the capability to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all veterans, their spouses and caregivers. Getting the shot into more arms will allow us to recover more quickly,” Boozman said. “I encourage veterans and their loved ones to get this vaccine.”
Boozman launched the ‘Shots in ARms’ tour to encourage Arkansans to get the vaccine and applaud the ongoing work of health care professionals to get shots in the arms of state residents. Follow Boozman’s Shots in ARms events online by searching #ShotsinARms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.