Veterans started getting vaccinated in Lake Havasu City this week.
The Lake Havasu Veterans Affairs Clinic received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine and started the distribution process on Wednesday. Northern Arizona VA Health Care System Public Affairs Officer Mary Dillinger said they began distributing vaccinations out of Prescott on Dec. 22 while working to prepare their five community clinics - like the one in Havasu - with the equipment needed to store and handle the vaccine while providing additional training for staff to administer the vaccine.
“We ask veterans to be patient,” Dillinger said. “We are calling veterans every day to schedule their appointments.There is no need to pre-register or call the VA to be put on a list. Veterans can visit the link on our website to sign-up if they would like but it is not necessary. We are going through our priority list and scheduling as many vaccine appointments as possible.”
Dillinger said all vaccinations are by appointment only.
The VA is following Centers for Disease Control guidelines and VA guidelines with a risk-prioritization phased approach to vaccine distribution.
The first phase is veterans 75 or older, or on hemodialysis or chemotherapy. Phase two includes veterans 65 and older, while phase three will include veterans 18 to 64 years old.
Dillinger said the VA’s goal is to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible and has been vaccinating veterans six days a week, including weekends and holidays.
As of Thursday morning NAVAHCS has vaccinated 690 people in Northern Arizona.
Although most other healthcare providers within Mohave County are allotted vaccine doses through the state health department, Dillinger said the NAVAHCS receives its allotment of doses from the national VA.
She said next week they have been told to expect 800 doses coming to Northern Arizona. Half of those will be sent to Prescott while the other 400 will be distributed to the other community clinics.