Aleda E. Lutz VAMC Helps VA Reach Milestone Vaccinating Its 1 Millionth Veteran

Saginaw, MI — Today, February 17, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration vaccinated its 1 millionth Veteran with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Aleda E. Lutz VAMC has administered 5,006 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to our Veterans and 1,762 second doses. The VA began COVID-19 immunizations in December 2020. As of February 17, VA has vaccinated 329,685 of 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. Currently, our medical center is receiving the Moderna vaccine.

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 65 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.”

Dr. Barbara Bates, Aleda E. Lutz VAMC Director stated, “We are encouraged by the number of 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.”

Our medical center and Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are reaching out to Veterans who are eligible for vaccination. Veterans who would like additional information can visit the VA COVID-19 vaccines webpage, visit their local facility’s website at https://www.saginaw.va.gov/ or call our COVID-19 Hotline at 989-321-4155.