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VA reaches milestone vaccinating its 1 millionth Veteran


February 18, 2021

Seattle , WA — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration announced Feb. 17, 2021 that it vaccinated its 1 millionth Veteran with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The VA began COVID-19 immunizations in December 2020. As of this morning, VA Puget Sound Health Care System has administered 9,118 first doses of the iPfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine to local Veterans and 2,870 second doses. Nationally, VA has vaccinated 363,211 Veterans with a second dose.

Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are given 21 days after the first dose, second doses of the Moderna vaccine are given 28 days after the first dose; the second dose completes the course of vaccination.

VA’s COVID-19 National Summary publishes vaccination data daily on Veterans, including information on employee and federal partner vaccinations. For those reviewing the site, when an individual receives both doses from VA, they have completed their vaccine course; therefore, “second dose” and “completed” are synonymous.

VA follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the VA COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan. During the limited supply phase, VA facilities have made progress through CDC Phase 1a and are offering vaccines to Veterans in Phase 1b, which includes Veterans aged 75 and older. However, some sites—like VA Puget Sound—are offering vaccine to additional Veterans at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as supply permits. VA Puget Sound is actively scheduling the vaccine for Veterans aged 70 years and older. Its next priority group will be Veterans aged 65 years and older.

“VA guidance encourages local flexibility in order to maximize COVID-19 vaccine access and efficiency and limit potential vaccine waste,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D. “In this limited supply phase, our COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs, vaccine availability, and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of available vaccines.”

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection against infection for our Veterans, their families and friends, and the VA Puget Sound staff who care for them,” said VA Puget Sound Director Michael Tadych, FACHE. “Each vaccine brings hope. And we are encouraged by the number of Veterans across Western Washington that we have been able to vaccinate so far and look forward to meeting VA’s goal of offering vaccines to all eligible Veterans, caregivers and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

VA Puget Sound is proactively contacting Veterans to make vaccine appointments (no walk-ins, by appointment only) when it is their turn. Eligible Veterans can call 206-716-5716 to schedule a vaccine or contact their primary care team. VA Puget Sound also now has a local Veteran COVID Vaccine Hotline—206-277-4040—that is updated daily with current vaccine scheduling eligibility. Veterans are encouraged to call for up-to-date local information.

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 155,000 Veterans enrolled across the Pacific Northwest. As the VA’s 5th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit

Veterans who would like additional information can visit the VA COVID-19 vaccines webpage, visit VA Puget Sound’s local website or contact their care team.

For more information about VA Puget Sound’s pandemic response and COVID-19 vaccine plan, contact Tami Begasse at

Media contacts

Tami Begasse, Public Affairs Officer


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