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COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 Update: January 11, 2022

While the nation continues to face a surge of COVID-19 patients as a result of the highly contagious Omicron variant, we want you to know that we are absolutely here for your care needs. Our service line and executive leaders continue to meeting daily to discuss and execute plans that have the safe care of you—our Veterans—at the center.

Like all the hospitals in the region, we are experiencing a surge in positive COVID-19 patients. We are still offering comprehensive health care services across all our care sites. While virtual video care is absolutely an option for appropriate care, there are many times an in-person visit is needed. It is important for you to get the primary and specialty care you need—from A1C draws and eye/foot checks to colonoscopies!

We are proud to be working toward 100% COVID-19 vaccine and booster participation at VA Puget Sound…ask us how!

We have the Tools to Fight Omicron

  • Wear a mask when around other people
  • Wear a mask while in the medical center: A surgical mask or a cloth mask in combination with a surgical mask are required. If you don’t have a surgical mask, we can provide you with one.
  • Get vaccinated: We continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters during regularly scheduled care appointments (primary and some specialty care clinics). Just let your care team know when you arrive for your regular appointment and every effort will be made to vaccinate you during that appointment. It may be more convenient or faster to get it in the community (Washington State’s COVID Vaccine Locator at https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ or 1-800-525-0127).
  • Stay 6 feet apart.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Get tested if sick or exposed to COVID-19.

Vaccines

Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19.  Getting vaccinated will protect those your love, too. When you are vaccinated, you are much less likely to pass COVID-19 to others you live with and spend time with. It is also an opportunity, once again, to serve your community and the nation by helping to stop the spread to others.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
  • CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated.
  • CDC recommends that everyone ages 12 years and older get a booster shot after completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series.  You are eligible for a booster at 5 months after completing a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series or 2 months after the initial J&J/Janssen vaccine. Individuals ages 12-17 are only eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Where to get vaccinated

VA Puget Sound continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters during regularly scheduled care appointments (primary and some specialty care clinics). Just let your care team know when you arrive for your regular appointment and every effort will be made to vaccinate you during that appointment.  And it may be more convenient or faster to get it in the community (Washington State’s COVID Vaccine Locator at https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ or 1-800-525-0127).

  • In the community: all COVID-19 vaccines, at the VA and in the community, are free. Veterans can access Washington State’s COVID Vaccine Locator at https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ or by calling 1-800-525-0127.
  • At Seattle and American Lake VA Medical Centers: during in-person appointments at primary care and several specialty clinics.
  • At VA Clinics: availability varies. Contact your clinic directly or message your care team.

Want to get a copy of your VA COVID-19 vaccine records through the My HealtheVet website or on your mobile device? How To Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine Records Online | Veterans Affairs. You can also use your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination card—or a photo of the card—as proof of vaccination.

Masks

Masks offer protection against all variants. Everyone entering our facilities must wear a face mask.

  • CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
  • CDC provides advice about masks for people who want to learn more about what type of mask is right for them depending on their circumstances.

Testing

Tests can tell you if you are currently infected with COVID-19.

  • Two types of tests are used to test for current infection: nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) and antigen tests. NAAT (such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and antigen tests can only tell you if you have a current infection.
  • Individuals can use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool to help determine what kind of test to seek.
    • Additional tests would be needed to determine if your infection was caused by Omicron.
    • Visit your statetribal, local, or territorial health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.
  • Self-tests can be used at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.
    • If you have possible COVID-19 symptoms and your self-test has a positive result, stay home or isolate for 10 days, wear a mask if you have contact with others, and call your healthcare provider.
    • If you do not have any symptoms and your self-test is positive, you should discuss further testing with your primary provider.
    • If you have possible COVID-19 symptoms and your self-test is negative, you should discuss further testing with your primary provider.
    • If you have any questions about your self-test result, call your healthcare provider or public health department.

Visitation

  • Visitors must be screened upon entry and only allowed in if they are symptom-free.
  • Visitors with pending COVID-19 test results due to symptoms or exposure are not permitted.
  • Visitors still in isolation period or in contact with anyone who tested positive within last 14 days not permitted.
  • Visitors under 18 not permitted, except American Lake Veteran Child Care Center (as available)
  • Visitors not allowed in rooms of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, except for limited situations such as end of life (with advance approval).
  • Visitors must stay in the patient’s room except when arriving and departing facility.
  • Visitors may not consume food or beverages in lobbies, waiting areas, shared patient spaces or when VA Puget Sound staff are present in patient’s room.
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