VA Pacific Islands Health Care System expands offering of COVID-19 booster shots
VA follows CDC guidance on COVID-19 booster shots and additional vaccine doses. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

HONOLULU, HI — The safety and care of Veterans and our workforce are top priorities for the Department of Veterans of Affairs. Effective today, Oct. 26, VA Pacific Islands Heath Care System is now offering veterans and employees the Moderna vaccine booster shots.

“Vaccines remain the best way of protecting Veterans, staff and the Pacific Islands against COVID-19,” said Dr. Adam Robinson Jr., director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, “The expanded FDA and CDC recommendations regarding booster shots allow us to better protect those at higher risk, as well as our community at large.”

This decision follows the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine.

For those who completed Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at least 6 months after their second dose (Prior to April 30, 2021):

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings.
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions.
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings.

For those who had a J&J COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated at least 2 months ago.

Eligible fully vaccinated veterans may choose to get the Moderna vaccine booster dose being offered at the VA. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

While the initial series of vaccines remain highly effective in reducing the likelihood of infection and preventing severe illness, hospitalization, or death among those infected, the purpose of this booster shot is to “boost” antibody protection when it has decreased over time.

VA is also offering the booster to Veterans, their spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES Act, as supply and capacity permits. The Save Lives Act authorizes VA to offer vaccine to Veterans not traditionally eligible for VHA care, and others including spouses and caregivers of Veterans.

Veterans who receive care in VA and are due for booster shots will be identified through VA’s Veterans Outreach Tool then contacted and advised of the recommended booster shots, which may be offered by appointment call 1-800-214-1306 at our Vaccine Event: Saturday, Oct. 30, from 8 a.m. to 4 the Ke’ehi Lagoon Memorial Park.

Veterans will need to bring their vaccination cards. Those who received a vaccine under authorization of the SAVE LIVES Act and are due for a booster shot may do so in VA if supply permits and should consult with their physician if they have questions about whether they should receive a booster. Contact 1-800-214-1306 and dial 0 for an appointment or information about walk-in hours.

The CDC advises that it is safe for people to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. Veterans receiving care at VA who wish to get a booster and flu shot can get both shots together during the same visit.

Visit the VAPIHCS website website for updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, please call 1-800-214-1306.