Rep. Roger Marshall pushes for vaccines for Kansas veterans

Wichita's Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita is one of three federal VA facilities in...
Wichita's Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita is one of three federal VA facilities in Kansas.(KWCH)
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 3:24 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With healthcare providers and veterans in Veterans Affairs (VA) long-term care facilities soon able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Rep. Roger Marshall *R-Kansas) strongly encourages veterans and their healthcare providers to take the step to protect themselves against the virus.

“Veterans in our long-term care facilities are not only vulnerable individuals, but are of the most deserving of this vaccine,” Rep. Marshall said. “I spoke with VA officials about the distribution of doses to our veteran facilities, especially those caring for elderly veterans, and have been assured that doses will be arriving in Kansas shortly. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our country. Therefore we must do everything we can to protect their lives and the lives of those that they depend on for care.”

Kansas has three federal VA facilities located in Wichita, Topeka, and Leavenworth, as well as two state soldier homes in Winfield and Dodge City. The federal facilities will get doses of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the VA’s national vaccine distribution plan. Marshall’s office said the state facilities will have to work with national pharmacy chains to receive doses of the vaccine for residents and staff.

“My staff has been in contact with leadership at both soldier homes to ensure they have a plan in place to receive the vaccine,” said Rep. Marshall. “It is essential we do not let these homes fall through the cracks and do all we can to move them to the front of the line. My office stands ready and willing to provide support to our state and federal facilities. We must prioritize the health and wellbeing of our veterans.”

The distribution plan calls for any veteran who wants the COVID-19 vaccine to have access to it at not no cost, but vaccination is not mandated. Veterans in VA long-term care facilities will be the first patient group to receive the vaccine. Healthcare workers in the facilities will also get the vaccine “in order to slow infection spread and to maintain care services.”

“As supplies increase, veterans outside of (VA long-term care facilities) will receive vaccinations based on factors such as age and existing health problems,” Marshall’s office explained.

Veterans seeking additional information may sign up to receive updates through VA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Keep Me Informed tool, visit the VA Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs webpage, contact their care team, or visit their facility website.

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