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VA vaccination policy is shameful

By Staff | Feb 3, 2021

To the editor:

I am a 74-year-old veteran trying to get a COVID vaccination. You would think that the Veterans Administration would be extremely proactive in providing the vaccine to its veterans, but that’s not the case.

First, you have to be 75 or older to receive the COVID vaccine and also be under the care of the VA health system. To be eligible for VA assistance you need to have either a disability resulting from military service, or be financially challenged. I, and many of my fellow veterans do not meet this criteria.

In addition, the 75-or-over requirement eliminates most of the Vietnam and Gulf War vets. The age requirement is particularly ridiculous considering that all senior citizens in Florida have a priority for the vaccine at 65 and older. I admit that this policy may not be entirely the fault of the VA, but rather that of our government that refuses to provide sufficient funding and vaccines to the VA. Our government, therefore, needs to be reminded that it needs to take extraordinary care of its veterans, or the next time Uncle Sam gets into a scrape oversees, no one is going to rush forward to bail him out.

Bruce P. Smith

Cape Coral