Washington, D.C. – In light of recent reports on veterans’ concerns about the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take an active role in combating vaccine-related misinformation and to encourage our veterans to get vaccinated. A recent poll by the Blue Star Families found that almost half of veteran families surveyed do not expect to receive a vaccine, with 75 percent of those families citing concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, false information related to the coronavirus has spread rapidly,” Cortez Masto and her colleagues wrote. “In order to save lives, we urge you to continue to address vaccine hesitancy by increasing educational efforts amongst VA recipients about vaccine misinformation… The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included over $19 billion for the VA, and we encourage you to use a portion of the remaining unspent funds to counter vaccine misinformation among our veterans. It is crucial that veterans receive clear and accurate information about the vaccine, and your agency can play a major role in helping them identify false information and recognize the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System and the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System are currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to all eligible, enrolled Veterans. The SAVE Lives Act was recently passed into law to allow non-enrolled veterans and caregivers to receive the vaccine. Please check the VA website for updates on vaccine access and implementation. Veterans in Southern Nevada can find more information here. Veterans in Northern Nevada can find more information here.