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COVID-19 variants & importance of second dose

Doctor with pen next to vial of covid-19 vaccine
VA has vaccines available for Veterans, their spouse, and caregivers.

Protecting Veterans, our staff, and those in the community remains VA’s top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. With variants on the rise, it is of critical importance to have as many people vaccinated as possible.

Time is of the essence!

Research tells us that the Delta variant, which has caused many hospitalizations and deaths in India, spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is additional concern that the medical treatments we are using to treat COVID-19 patients may be less effective against this variant. Over the past month, the Delta variant has rapidly spread and expanded in the United States, and we believe it may soon become the dominant virus strain.

Research also shows that COVID-19 vaccines offer good protection against the variants we know most about, and widespread vaccination can prevent unnecessary deaths and hospitalizations. We believe that the newer types of vaccines we have now are true “pandemic fighters” and, by design, are well suited to adding new “targets” to fight these variants.

Have you gotten your first dose and don’t think you need your second? Consider this: The Delta variant most severely impacts those who are either unvaccinated or only received their first of two-dose vaccine series, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. If someone is late for their second dose, they should still get it. VA will provide the second doses to employees, Veterans, or anyone who qualifies under the Save Lives Act, such as spouses and caregivers, no matter where they received their first dose, if that is more convenient.

If you are undecided about getting the vaccine and need more information to make a decision, check out our vaccine questions page, which includes videos, downloadable information, and frequently asked question.

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