New law expands access to COVID-19 vaccine for veterans, their spouses and caregivers


WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A push is on to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19. The latest effort is being headed up by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

If you’re a veteran looking to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market.. you will find it much easier and faster to get.

“We have about 19 clinics over the next two weeks that are going out there and actively vaccinating veterans, spouses of veterans, and caregivers,” said Alfred Montoya Jr., Medical CTR Director.

Montoya says the clinics are possible thanks to legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. It’s called “Save Lives.”

“It encourages more veterans to come get vaccinated because they can bring their spouse and caregiver. It makes them safer at home. But also it takes pressure off the rest of the vaccine system,” said Blumenthal.

Army Veteran Jeffery Chacua is getting his first vaccine Tuesday, with the next one to come in two weeks.

“This is really an opportunity for everyone to get their shot and life started again,” said Chacua.

The vaccines are first come first served while supplies last. No appointments are necessary, but they are an option. Previously, only those veterans enrolled in the VA health system could received a COVID-19 vaccine through the VA.

“So far, we’ve vaccinated about 22 and half thousand veterans. In just in one week alone we’ve about 900 non-veterans, which would be the spouses or caregivers of veterans,” said Montoya.

“Many of our veterans are a little older, maybe somewhat more vulnerable, they need and deserve this vaccine, said Blumenthal.

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