PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) announced on Tuesday that it is eliminating the age criterion for eligible veterans looking to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
VAPHS requires that veterans be enrolled and eligible for VA healthcare to receive the vaccine.
VAPHS said that the shift is following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ push to get all eligible veterans vaccinated.
According to VAPHS, veterans can schedule free appointments through My HealtheVet to get an appointment at the University Drive campus, H.J. Heinz III campus or an outpatient clinic.
Veterans can walk-in to the University Drive campus from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Most of the clinics will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which comes with two doses spaced out with 21 days in between.
A spokesperson said so far, 40 percent of veterans who are enrolled and receive health care are fully vaccinated. The goal is to vaccinate all veterans who want the vaccine by the fall.
VAPHS said that they cannot provide the vaccine to TRICARE and CHAMPVA beneficiaries, veterans’ spouses and dependents or civilians at this time.
Butler County has also been vaccinating veterans 55 and younger for weeks.
“It’s huge because a lot of veterans would wait until the most vulnerable veterans are vaccinated first before they would go in and get vaccinated,” said John Cyprian, the director of Veteran Services in Butler County.
Bob Scarmack was one of the veterans who got vaccinated in Butler County.
“Us veterans have had every shot imaginable already. I don’t know why not get another one? You can go to any VA and get vaccinated,” he said.
Army veteran George McGary is still undecided.
“I don’t have a problem if you do it or if you don’t do it,” he said.