U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) began COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine December 22 following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine.
“TVHS is eager to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel as well as our Veteran spinal cord unit patients and community living center residents,” said Dr. John Nadeau, TVHS chief of staff. “As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
TVHS 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 -20◦C.
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.
Thirty-seven medical centers began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and Veterans December 14. Fifteen additional VA facilities will receive an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 21.
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 contact a facility to sign up.
Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on Dec. 11, 2020, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on VA’s Stay Informed page.
TVHS is an integrated tertiary health care system comprised of two hospitals, the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro and the Nashville Campus, as well as more than a dozen community-based outpatient clinics located in Tennessee and Kentucky. TVHS provides ambulatory care, primary care, and secondary care in acute medicine and surgery, specialized tertiary care, transplant services, spinal cord injury outpatient care, and a full range of extended care and mental health services.