Covid-19: Delta Variant and Updates
We recently discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and how the delta variant is affecting the VA’s response to the virus.
All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at their local VA. We encourage you to get your vaccine as soon as you can. It’s the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community against COVID-19. This is especially important as new forms (or “variants”) of the coronavirus spread more quickly in the U.S, like the delta variant.
Viruses constantly change and become more diverse and scientists monitor these changes. By carefully studying viruses, epidemiologists can learn how changes to the virus might affect how it spreads and how sick people will get.
The CDC is monitoring multiple variants; currently there are four notable variants in the United States:
- B.1.1.7 (Alpha): This variant was first detected in the United States in December 2020. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.
- B.1.351 (Beta): This variant was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.
- P.1 (Gamma): This variant was first detected in the United States in January 2021. P.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
- B.1.617.2 (Delta): This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 2020.
Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the VA?
Many VA health facilities and clinics now offer COVID-19 vaccines to these groups:
- All Veterans
- Spouses and surviving spouses of Veterans
- Caregivers of Veterans
- For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help a Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help a Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.
- Recipients of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits
Right now, St. Louis has 446,420 people who are fully vaccinated, which accounts for 44.70% of the total population. That number needs to drastically increase if we have any hope of defeating this virus once and for all. For more information on where to get vaccinated, contact us or use the handy search tool on the VA website.
You can check out any episode of Vet Time in America on our website or ask our veteran experts if you have any questions or concerns.