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Tampa Bay VA systems begin to offer vaccinations to enrolled veterans of all ages

Veterans will be contacted by their VA care teams to schedule vaccine appointments.
James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa.
James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Mar. 5
Updated Mar. 6

Beginning this week, veterans of all ages — those enrolled in the VA medical system — can get vaccinated against the coronavirus at clinics and hospitals in the Tampa VA health care system, according to spokespeople.

In the Bay Pines VA health care system, the C.W. Bill Young Medical Center in Pinellas County also is vaccinating enrolled veterans of all ages.

For veterans seeking vaccines at outpatient clinics and other medical centers within the Bay Pines system, vaccinations are limited to only those over 65, under 65 with high risk health conditions, and essential frontline workers of all ages, said Anna Hancock, spokeswoman for the system. High risk health conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart failure and more.

“Plans are under development to host several vaccine clinics offsite and in collaboration with our community partners as part of our focused outreach to underserved populations, which may be in rural areas or in some cases urban areas,” Hancock added in an email.

Veterans eligible for vaccines at VA medical centers and clinics will be contacted to schedule an appointment. They can also call their care teams to express interest in a vaccine, and a note will be placed in their medical record.

As of Friday, more than 26,500 veterans had received an initial vaccine dose within the Bay Pines system with more than 14,000 having completed a second dose, according to national data. In the Tampa system, more than 28,000 had received their initial dose, and more than 15,500 had completed their doses.

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