VA Puget Sound Health Care System
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines. VA will have a limited amount of vaccines to start. We've worked with the CDC and other federal partners to develop a phased plan. Our goal is to do the most good for the most people during this time.
Currently, VA is offering COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans already receiving care from the VA, based on CDC and VA risk criteria. If you're eligible to get a vaccine, your VA health care team will contact you.
Veterans who are not enrolled or do not currently receive care at VA can visit VA's Eligibility web page to learn more: Eligibility For VA Health Care | Veterans Affairs
VA Puget Sound is administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. We continue to follow VA's Vaccination Plan (page 27 is the risk stratification). Along with vaccines being administered at our Seattle and American Lake campus, we expect to extend to our Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Silverdale and Mount Vernon by the end of January.
As of January 13, 2021:
- We have administered more than 3,300 vaccines. This includes vaccinating 65% of our staff and 100% of Veterans from our Spinal Cord Injury Unit (Seattle) and Community Living Centers (Seattle and American Lake) who wanted one.
- We have kicked off Operation Vet Vax with a focus on vaccinating our Veteran population
- We are currently vaccinating Veterans 85 and older and extremely high risk Veteran populations including hemodialysis, solid organ transplant, hospital-based chemotherapy and spinal cord injury patients as well as those Veterans experiencing homelessness.
- We will be transitioning to Veterans 75 and older on January 19, 2021 followed by Veterans 65 and older.
Despite the fluid nature of the pandemic and the limited amount of the initial vaccine, we continue to work diligently to address the prioritization, scheduling, administration, handling, logistics, allocation, safety, wastage, tracking and distribution strategies for our Veterans and staff.
We continue to proactively contact Veterans to make vaccine appointments when it is their turn, so our policy of no walk-in patients outside of emergent care needs remains in place.
Safe Care is our Mission!
Patient and staff safety remain paramount, and our rigorous safety measures remain in place:
- 100% screening for signs of COVID-19 infection.
- 100% use of approved face masks for everyone entering and inside any of our care sites (if you don’t have one, we will provide you with one; no medical waivers).
- 100% physical distancing.
- No walk-in patients outside of emergent care needs.
- No routine visitors:
- Inpatient Visits: Exceptions must be coordinated with your care team in advance.Visits 30 minutes or less unless care team believes longer visit is in best interest of the patient.
- Outpatient Visits:Patients can bring one person as an escort for navigation assistance or to provide care support. Visitor must stay with the patient throughout visit unless specified otherwise by the health care team.
- Approved Visitors:Must be approved by care team in advance of visit. Must be at least 18-years-old. Must adhere to all safety measures. Must use hand gel when entering and exiting a care area. Are not allowed in the room during aerosol-generating procedures.
- No visitors under 18 allowed, with one exception: American Lake’s Child Care Center.
- Do not leave unaccompanied minors outside during your visit.
- 100% environmental cleaning recommendations as outlined by the CDC.
Maximizing Personalized Virtual Care Options
We continue to maximize personalized virtual care options. We know these services have been a valuable link to our Veterans during this challenging time, providing increased access to care regardless of where you live. Here are some examples of ways you can access care from home:
Telephone or Video Appointments: Receive care at home—either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on your computers, smartphones or tablets. To set up virtual appointments, send your health care team a secure message on My HealtheVet. While Veterans may also call us at 1-800-329-8387, VA is requesting that Veterans only call with urgent needs at this time.
Prescription Refills: Veterans can request prescription refills, order and ship medications home using My HealtheVet or Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app.
Secure Messaging: With a free My HealtheVet Premium account, Veterans can send secure messages to their health care team online to ask non-urgent health questions, request referrals and send updates about medical conditions. Other tools and services available to Veterans with the Premium account include, ability to access health records, view military service information and ability to join video visits using the VA Appointments tools. There are two ways to register, online or in-person at a VA facility. With the threat of COVID-19, the in-person option has been suspended.
To upgrade online using a VA HealtheVet sign-in partner (DS Logon and ID.me), follow these steps: From the My HealtheVet sign in page, sign in to your Advanced My HealtheVet account using a sign-in partner. Select the Upgrade Now button. Check the certification box to verify account owner. Select Continue. Check the Accept My HealtheVet Terms & Conditions box. Select Continue to complete the upgrade.
To get the latest updates and sign up to stay informed about COVID-19 vaccines, visit VA's vaccine information page.
- VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Hours of Operation
By Appointment Only