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Vaccinating veterans for COVID-19 at the US Department of Veterans Affairs

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Feb 03, 2022

Given a surge in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (most recent) Omicron variant across the US, researchers realized the necessity to better understand the ways required to increase vaccination and booster uptake. As there are limited studies examining patient characteristics of individuals who received COVID-19 vaccinations, researchers herein investigated the patient characteristics of Veterans who received vaccination during the first 8 months (December 2020–July 2021) of the vaccination rollout at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

  • Using VA administrative and clinical data, researchers retrieved the analytic sample of 5,914,741 VA-users (49.7% vaccinated).

  • Analysis revealed lower likelihood of getting vaccinated for veterans who were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan-Natives, younger, living in rural areas, male and unmarried, with VA health insurance only, with fewer chronic conditions, who did not receive the seasonal influenza vaccine, and not living in community living centers or nursing homes.

  • By recognizing the groups of Veterans who are less likely to be vaccinated, targeted interventions could be developed to improve uptake in these groups.

  • Considering the results, evidence-based educational outreach programs may be developed by non-VA organizations that may lower vaccine hesitancy among Veterans that do not use VA.


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