Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 will be available this week at the Central California VA Medical Center in Fresno, the Department of Veteran Affairs announced Monday morning.
The center at 2615 E. Clinton Ave. is among 113 VA Medical Centers and outpatient clinics receiving limited Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supplies this week, the VA said.
“Having a second COVID-19 vaccine will enable us to reach more facilities and vaccinate more healthcare personnel and veterans in additional parts of the country,” said VA Secretary Robert L. Wilkie in a news release. “We continue to implement our COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan and are grateful to be one step closer to seeing the end of this pandemic.”
The VA is using the Centers for Disease Control guidelines to determine the priority for vaccinations. The VA says it will continue to vaccinate healthcare workers, as well as community living center and spinal cord unit residents. As vaccine supplies increase, the VA hopes to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all veterans and employees who want them.
The VA says it is contacting eligible vaccination recipients and setting up appointments. It asks that patients don’t come to the medical center and request vaccinations.
Central California VA Medical Center serves more than 28,000 veterans in six Valley counties.
Veterans Groups Want Wilkie Fired
Monday’s vaccine announcement from Wilkie came amid a political firestorm.
Earlier this month, the nation’s six largest veterans groups called on President Donald Trump to immediately fire Wilkie over the mishandling of a congressional aide’s allegation of a sexual assault at the VA hospital in Washington, D.C.
The groups said they had lost all confidence in Wilkie’s ability to lead the government’s second-largest department following a blistering audit that found he had acted unprofessionally in disparaging the aide.
Wilkie has denied wrongdoing. In response to calls for his resignation, the VA says Wilkie “will continue to lead the department.”
(Associated Press contributed to this report.)