The St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Health Care System will start vaccinating its highest risk outpatient veterans with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Jan. 11.

“We first provided Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents and health care personnel, said Dr. Brent A. Thelen, director of the St. Cloud VA. "We are now ready to start a phased plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine to veterans who want to be vaccinated.”

The St. Cloud VA is now scheduling enrolled veterans who are on dialysis, undergoing chemotherapy at a hospital or outpatient infusion center, have had a transplant, are homeless, or who are 85 and older, for appointments the week of Jan. 11.

“Most vaccinations will be given in one central location, said J.D. Anderson, chief of pharmacy, "and veterans must be scheduled for an appointment to get a vaccination.”

Vaccination appointments will be held in Building 8, the auditorium, at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center, or at one of the VA clinic locations in Alexandria, Brainerd and Montevideo. Dates for the VA clinic vaccinations are being finalized.

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Second-dose appointments will take place four weeks later.

VA health care teams will contact enrolled veterans who are eligible to get a vaccine during a specific phase of the nationwide distribution plan via letter. The letter will contain instructions on how to set up a vaccination appointment. There is no need to preregister or come to a facility to sign up.

Veterans should not come to or contact a VA facility to receive a vaccine until an appointment is scheduled. Vaccines cannot be provided to anyone who is not eligible based on national guidance for the current phase of vaccination.

Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page.