Bay Pines VA Healthcare System vaccinated the first Veteran patient today shortly after the VA’s announcement of additional Pfizer vaccine shipments to VA facilities.
Navy Veteran William German, 95, and resident of the Community Living Center (CLC) on the Bay Pines campus was among the first VA patients to receive the vaccine. Shortly thereafter, more than six Veteran CLC residents received their vaccine.
“Bay Pines VA Healthcare System team is eager to continue vaccinating our healthcare personnel and our Veterans living in our Community Living Center” said Paul Russo, Director and CEO of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. “As vaccine supplies increase, we will be offering COVID-19 vaccination to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System was one of fifteen additional VA facilities that received an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 21. Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is also 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 -20◦C.
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. 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 side effects 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, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System staff members 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.