WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12), the lead Republican on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today introduced the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans’ and Caregivers’ COVID-19 Immunizations Now Expanded Act of 2021 or the VA VACCINE Act. This bipartisan bill is a critical fix to expand VA’s ability to provide COVID-19 vaccines to veterans and their caregivers. Under this legislation, VA can provide vaccines to all veterans—including those not currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system—and caregivers who provide essential support to veterans.
“Getting vaccines into the arms of every person who wants one as soon as we can is key to finally getting us past this pandemic. In my mind, veterans should always be at the front of the line,” said Ranking Member Bost. “That is why I have been working to expand access to vaccines for veterans through the VA healthcare system and am proud to introduce the VA VACCINE Act today. Simply put, our bill would mean more veterans and their caregivers can get vaccinated. It will save lives. I hope it is signed into law without delay.”
The VA VACCINE Act will expand VA’s authority so they can provide vaccines to:
• Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA’s healthcare system, including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above a certain threshold;
• Caregivers of veterans who are enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term care programs; and
• Veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program (including those who reside in the Philippines).