The Wilmington VA Medical Center will begin vaccinating adolescents Monday.
The expansion will only be offered to those 12– to 17-year-olds who are caregivers of veterans or veteran beneficiaries under the Save Lives Act.
Shots will be available at its main campus at 1601 Kirkwood Highway.
The Save Lives act was passed in March, allowing the VA to expand its vaccination efforts beyond the veterans use the VA for health care.
That allowed the VA to vaccinate veteran spouses, veterans’ caregivers, veterans who cannot enroll in the VA health care system and beneficiaries who are eligible due to disability or death of a veteran.
“To date, Wilmington VA Medical Center has administered more than 34,000 doses of the vaccine at the medical center in Wilmington and our five community-based outpatient clinics in Delaware and southern New Jersey,” said public affairs officer Jacob L. Dillon in an email. “We have vaccinated nearly 70% of the 25,000 Veterans who get their primary care through Wilmington VA Medical Center.”
That puts the Wilmington VA Medical Center in the top-10 VAs in the country for vaccination percentage.
Now youths ages 12-17 can get the Moderna vaccine.
Dillon said the VA has no way of knowing how many youths it will vaccinate.
“At this time there is no estimate, but getting any amount of vaccinations in arms is a success on the road to reaching immunity in the community and putting this deadly virus behind us as we go into the summer months,” Dillon said.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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