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Western Washington veterans of all ages can get vaccine through VA Puget Sound

Veterans must already be receiving care from VA Puget Sound to be eligible.

SEATTLE — All veterans in western Washington, of any age or health condition, who get care from VA Puget Sound are now eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine, the Veterans Affairs Department announced Thursday.

“We have gotten to the point now where we can open up eligibility to all health care eligible veterans,” said Maureen Mclain, who oversees the vaccine process for VA Puget Sound.

She said they’ve been preparing to expand since January.

“We have been steadily increasing our capacity based on the dose allocation that was received every week,” she said.

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VA Puget Sound has administered nearly 17,000 vaccine doses to older and at-risk veterans so far. Soon, all three vaccines will be available for veterans at the Seattle and American Lake centers, as well as Silverdale and Mount Vernon clinics.

This is specific to VA Puget Sound, meaning it only applies to veterans in western Washington.

A veteran must be getting care from the VA to get the vaccine. There are teams available to help those veterans not enrolled. Veterans who are more at-risk will still be prioritized.

The best way to get an appointment is to call their scheduling line or contact your primary care team.

VA officials say, even with this offering, they encourage veterans to get the vaccine that is available to them, even if it’s through the state department of health.

Mclain said they’re doing drive-through vaccine clinics and coordinating with those living in rural areas and minority veterans.

“We are reaching out to those groups individually, to ensure that they have equal access to being vaccinated,” she said.

Phone lines were busy as expected Thursday, but Mclain said to keep calling, and eventually, you will get through.

Spokane and Walla Walla, which also have VA programs, were not part of this vaccine expansion at the time this article was published. 

Eligible veterans can call VA Puget Sound at 206-716-5716 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

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