GCVHCS Helps VA Reach Milestone Vaccinating Its 1 Millionth Veteran

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February 17, 2021

Vernon Stewart
Phone: 816-806-7571
Email: vernon.stewart@va.gov

GCVHCS Helps VA Reach Milestone Vaccinating its 1 Millionth Veteran

BILOXI, Miss. — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration vaccinated its 1 millionth Veteran with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) has administered more than 10,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Gulf Coast-area Veterans and staff. The VA began COVID-19 immunizations in December 2020, and as of Feb. 17, has vaccinated 330,000 Veterans with a second dose. 

Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are given 21 days after the first dose, second doses of the Moderna vaccine are given 28 days after the first dose; the second dose completes the course of vaccination.

VA’s COVID-19 National Summary publishes vaccination data daily on Veterans, including information on employee and federal partner vaccinations. For those reviewing the site, when an individual receives both doses from VA, they have completed their vaccine course; therefore, “second dose” and “completed” are synonymous.

VA follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the VA COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan. During the limited supply phase, VA facilities have made progress through CDC Phase 1a and are offering vaccines to Veterans in Phase 1b, which includes Veterans aged 75 and older. However, some sites are offering vaccine to additional Veterans at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as supply permits.

“VA guidance encourages local flexibility in order to maximize COVID-19 vaccine access and efficiency and limit potential vaccine waste,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D. “In this limited supply phase, our COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs, vaccine availability, and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of available vaccines.”

GCVHCS Director Bryan C. Matthews said, “We are encouraged by the number of Gulf Coast Veterans we have been able to vaccinate so far and look forward to meeting VA’s goal of offering vaccines to all eligible Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

The GCVHCS is reaching out to Veterans who are eligible for vaccination. Veterans who would like additional information can visit the VA COVID-19 vaccines webpage, visit the GCVHCS website or contact their care team.

Media interested in additional information on GCVHCS COVID-19 vaccination procedures are encouraged to contact the GCVHCS Chief of Community and Public Affairs, Vernon Stewart at vernon.stewart@va.gov or at 816-806-7571.

The Biloxi VA Medical Center and the Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin and Panama City VA Clinics are all part of the Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System (GCVHCS) which is headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, and provide a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 75,000 Veterans.


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