Guam veterans may not be included in COVID vaccines from VA Pacific

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Guam veterans may not be included in the batch of COVID-19 vaccines received by Hawaii’s VA Pacific Islands Health Care System — but officials are working on making the plan more inclusive to veterans in Guam.

The VHA COVID-19 Vaccination Plan that follows provides guidance on key aspects of a successful vaccination program.

The plan addresses vaccinations for veterans, staff, and if applicable, caregivers, State Veteran Homes, and other federal partners.

It also gives priority to staff and residents in long-term care and assisted living facilities, patients 65 years and older, and those with high-risk medical conditions for COVID-19.

In an interview with K57’s Patti Arroyo, Tim Aguon, the director of the Guam Veterans Affairs Office, says Guam was not specifically mentioned in the Covid-19 vaccination plan with the Veterans Health Administration.

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“With this guidance that came up from the VHA, the vaccines that got sent down from DHHS — which is the US Health and Human Services …the vaccines are authorized and being sent down in every state and state government/level. And I have spoken to Mr. (Art) San Agustin… regarding the total amount received and if there is any guidance regarding veterans vaccinations. I haven’t had that conversation yet because I want to get the language correct from US VA — our regional office in Hawaii…just to make sure that I didn’t miss any type of direction or guidance,” Aguon said.

But even without an official directive from the CBOC or VA, Aguon says 15 to 20 percent of Guam’s veteran base — which is 20,000 plus — actually qualify for the ongoing elderly vaccination plan.

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