Vaccine refusal rate at 3% among veterans, slightly higher in rural areas

About 3% of veterans have refused coronavirus vaccines when offered them by the Department of Veterans Affairs – an amount lower than the agency anticipated, a VA official said Thursday.

VA will start vaccinating veterans, spouses and caregivers May 1

The Saves Lives Act grew the population that the VA is responsible for vaccinating from about 9 million to 33 million. The department will need an increase of about 400,000 doses each week to vaccinate everyone.

Under new law, VA must offer vaccines to 24 million more people

The Saves Lives Act removes legal barriers that prevented the VA from vaccinating veterans who aren’t enrolled in the department, as well as their spouses and caregivers.

VA scrambles to schedule backlogged compensation and pension exams

Hundreds of thousands of veterans are waiting for their earned benefits because of a backlog of compensation and pension exam requests that grew during the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress passes bill to allow VA to vaccinate all vets, spouses, caregivers

Congress approved a bill Friday that makes all veterans, as well as their spouses and caregivers, eligible for a coronavirus vaccine through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veteran homelessness increased from 2019 to 2020, according to new HUD report

On a single night in January 2020, 37,252 veterans were experiencing homelessness — an increase of 167 veterans, or 0.4%, from January 2019, according to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Congress approves $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with $17 billion for the VA

About $14.5 billion goes toward vaccine distribution, veterans’ health care, mental health care, staffing, suicide prevention, research and women’s health, as well as expanding telehealth, serving homeless veterans and stocking personal protective equipment.

House passes bill requiring VA to offer COVID vaccine to more veterans, caregivers

The House has unanimously approved legislation that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer coronavirus vaccines to all veterans, regardless of whether they’re enrolled in VA health care.

Advocates seek to secure and expand fertility services for veterans

Advocates pushed members of Congress on Tuesday to expand and make permanent a federal program to help veterans conceive through in vitro fertilization.

Senators push VA to vaccinate all veterans, spouses, caregivers

An effort is underway in Congress to mandate the Department of Veterans Affairs to vaccinate all U.S. veterans against the coronavirus, as well as their spouses and caregivers.

'As rural as you can get': Montana VA flies coronavirus vaccine to eager veterans

An early-morning delivery by charter plane of 52 vials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine to Kalispell, Montana, was part of a vaccination program started by the VA to inoculate veterans in highly rural places. On Tuesday, the Montana VA Health Care System vaccinated 529 veterans there, most over age 75.

House committee to investigate whether extremist groups target veterans for recruitment

The investigation will dive into the role misinformation plays in drawing veterans toward extremist ideology and organizations, according to a statement from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs committee.

McDonough urges Senate to pass coronavirus relief aid for VA

The bill, titled the American Rescue Plan, totals $1.9 trillion and includes billions in relief aid for the VA. The VA secretary said the money was needed to treat veterans who have put off health care visits during the pandemic.

Army veteran who witnessed 1941 Pearl Harbor attack dies in Texas at 102

Virgil Lee Ward, a private who handled a flurry of telephone communications on the morning of the Dec. 7, 1941, died at his home in Grand Prairie, local Texas media reported Monday.

VA seeing no difference in coronavirus vaccine reluctance based on race

Black veterans who are eligible for coronavirus vaccines are accepting them at rates similar to veterans of other races, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

State veterans’ homes are required to report coronavirus data, but not all comply

Most state-run veterans homes publicly shared data about coronavirus cases and deaths for the first time this month, but not all are complying to the new law.

VA secretary orders review of policies to root out barriers for LGBTQ veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs will review its policies and determine how to make the agency a more welcoming and inclusive place for LGBTQ veterans and employees.

VA officials urge Congress to approve coronavirus relief funding

Department of Veterans Affairs officials urged Congress on Friday to approve President Joe Biden’s proposal for about $15 billion in coronavirus relief aid for the agency.

VA enrolls veterans 'on the spot' in areas where eligible patients have refused vaccines

The Department of Veterans Affairs has immediately enrolled veterans into its health care system in areas where eligible VA patients have refused coronavirus vaccines.