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Statement on VA COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for Family Caregivers

Statement on VA COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for Family Caregivers

Important news from the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccination to family caregivers in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)! 

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is tracking this closely and here’s what we know so far:

  • Facilities may provide COVID-19 testing and vaccines to Primary and Secondary caregivers in efforts to support the health and safety of veterans in the care of the PCAFC.
  • Tests and vaccines will be administered in balance with site-specific resources, needs, vaccine availability, hesitancy to accept the vaccine, and the status of the pandemic locally. 
  • Facilities may schedule family caregivers to receive testing and vaccines in a coordinated manner with the veterans for whom they provide care.

*Information pulled from memorandum released by Richard A. Stone, MD – Executive-in-Charge, Veterans Health Administration.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation commends the VA for taking swift action to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine access for veteran caregivers in response to the letter we submitted to leadership in December. Veterans and service members are among the most at-risk populations in our country, and we acknowledge that their caregivers – spouses, family members, and other loved ones – have been on the frontlines of this pandemic since February. The Foundation applauds the VA for considering caregivers, but strongly recommends that all caregivers, no matter their program status, be prioritized and considered a core constituency in this directive. Veteran caregivers serving high-risk, vulnerable individuals should be vaccinated in coordination with their veteran. Providing these individuals access to and prioritization of a layer of protection through vaccination will make an immense difference in the safety and well-being of all our nation’s military and veteran families. 

The Foundation will continue to advocate for vaccine access for our caregiver community. We look forward to receiving additional clarification from our partners at the VA regarding vaccine distribution in the days and weeks ahead and will share information as it becomes available.