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Fargo VA Health Care System COVID-19 Precautions and Vaccine Information

Fargo VA Health Care System COVID-19 Precautions and Vaccine Information

The Fargo VA offers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, to include booster doses, to ANYONE who served in the U.S. military, spouses of Veterans, caregivers of Veterans, and recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits.

The Fargo VA Health Care System provides booster shots to all Veterans regardless of their character of discharge, income, or enrollment, their spouses, and their caregivers:

  • For those who completed a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series, CDC recommends a booster for those who are 18 years and older and are at least 5 months after their second dose.
  • For those who had a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 years and older and were vaccinated at least 2 months ago.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. CDC’s recommendations allow for mix-and-match dosing for booster shots. The Fargo VA Health Care System is administering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. While the initial series of vaccines remain highly effective in reducing the likelihood of infection and preventing severe illness, hospitalization, or death among those infected, the purpose of this booster shot is to “boost” antibody protection when it has decreased over time. CDC advises it is safe for people to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time.

The Fargo VA Health Care System offers COVID-19 booster doses intermittently at our VA outpatient clinics across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Those interested in receiving a booster dose as soon as possible can call the Fargo VA at 701-239-3700, select option 2, then select option 1 primary care scheduling, to inquire about COVID-19 vaccine booster shot appointment locations and options. Hours of operation for this phone line are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Time. You may also call your local VA outpatient clinic directly to discuss vaccine options.

You can also receive your booster dose at no cost to you outside of VA. You can locate a vaccine site at www.vaccines.gov/search/. Be sure to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card when you go. If you’ve already received your COVID-19 vaccine booster dose from a non-VA provider or location, please let your VA healthcare team know. You can send a picture of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to your VA provider through secure messaging. You can also add your vaccine information to your MyHealtheVet health summary for your own records. To add your information, you’ll need a premium MyHealtheVet account.

The Fargo VA Health Care System also continues to offer initial COVID-19 vaccines to the following:

  • All Veterans regardless of Character of Discharge, income, enrollment, or any other factor – ANYONE who served in the U.S. military is eligible to be vaccinated through VA.
  • Spouses of a Veteran – For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a spouse to include marriage, same-sex, and common-law marriages. This includes a widow or widower of a Veteran. If your relationship is/was spousal, you can receive the vaccine.
  • Caregivers of a Veteran – For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help the Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help the Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits.

The Fargo VA Health Care System's number one priority is to provide services in an environment that is safe for our Veterans and staff. We continue to screen everyone entering our facilities for coronavirus to ensure minimum exposure to you, your caregivers, and our staff.

If you’re a Veteran seeking medical care, call before visiting (701-239-3700). You can also sign in to My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov) and send a secure message to your Primary Care Team. You may be able to get diagnosed and receive care through VA telehealth without having to come in at all. Appointments currently scheduled as some type of telehealth will remain this way unless you instruct us otherwise.

We continue to ask that you not bring any additional people to your outpatient medical appointments unless they're required to assist with your transportation or medical care. We’re allowing walk-ins only for the designated walk-in clinic and for urgent and emergent issues. Regardless of the scenario, Veterans who are seeking medical care are highly encouraged to call before visiting (701-239-3700). Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. You may be asked to wait in our front lobby, rather than in the clinic area, to enhance our ability to social distance.

All staff, patients, visitors, and anyone else entering Fargo VA Health Care System facilities – to include our Community Based Outpatient Clinics – is required to wear a face covering, mask, or face shield. Everyone who enters a Fargo VA Health Care System facility will be provided a mask or face shield, if they do not already have one, at the entrances when they are screened. If you're unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, you will be provided a face shield. If you currently have your own face covering, we encourage you to wear it when entering our facilities.

You may be tested for COVID-19 within VA and we may ask you to distance yourself from others while waiting for your results. Please be sure to inform your VA provider if you receive a COVID-19 diagnostic test outside of VA. You and your provider will discuss your treatment options and overall health status while COVID-19 safety restrictions still exist. You will discuss the risks of certain treatments or procedures, taking into account your overall health status, risk for complications, and urgency of the considered treatment.

Only one companion per Veteran is allowed in our facilities for Veterans who require assistance for outpatient visits. We’re allowing one visitor in our inpatient departments, although visitation to the Community Living Center may be restricted depending on current COVID-19 activity in the community. Please call ahead before your visit to the Community Living Center. Thank you to all our visitors and Veterans for helping us protect the safety of everyone within our facilities.

Stay current on our COVID-19 information and operations by visiting our website at www.fargo.va.gov or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

More information about online tools for Veterans:

Through VA’s virtual care tools, we’re able to leverage available technology to make sure our patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time. To help us address our Veterans’ most-urgent needs first, we ask that Veterans use our online tools for routine or non-urgent questions. Here are some examples:

Telephone or Video Appointments – Veterans can receive care at home – either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets. To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. To learn more about VA Video Connect, visit mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.

Prescription Refills – Veterans can request prescription refills and order and ship medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.

Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps Veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care. Enroll at mobile.va.gov/annie.

Secure Messaging – With My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, Veterans can send online secure messages to your VA health care team to ask them nonurgent health questions. Register at www.myhealth.va.gov.

For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit www.connectedcare.va.gov.

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