Expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans - VA Northern California Health Care System
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VA Northern California Health Care System

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Expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans

Save Lives Act

Save Lives Act

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to Veterans, their caregivers and spouses, and some other beneficiaries under the authority granted by the SAVE LIVES Act, signed by President Joe Biden March 24, 2021. This includes:

: All Veterans are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine at VA. Eligibility includes anyone who served in the U.S. military, including the U.S. National Guard, Reserves, or Coast Guard, as well as:

  •  Commissioned officers of the Regular or Reserve Corp of the Public Health Service, or
  •  Commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or Coast and Geodetic Survey), or
  •  Cadets at the U.S. Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or
  •  Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy

Spouses and Surviving Spouses of Veterans: For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we are including spouses of same-sex and common-law marriages. Eligibility includes a widow or widower of a Veteran. If an individual characterizes his or her relationship as spousal, he or she can receive the vaccine.

Caregivers of a Veteran: For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to the Veteran. Caregivers may help the Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help the Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation. A person stating that they are the caregiver of a Veteran and giving the Veteran’s name is sufficient to give him or her a vaccine.

CHAMPVA Recipients: Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits, including spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled Veterans or of Veterans who have died from service-connected disabilities. Recipients must meet CDC age requirements for vaccine administration.

The expanded authority depends on readily available COVID-19 vaccine supply and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue to prioritize Veterans enrolled in VA care.

For more information on VA NorCal’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts, please visit www.northerncalifornia.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp.

How can I register to be contacted for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

  • Veterans, spouses and caregivers newly eligible under the SAVES LIVES Act can go to va.gov/covid-19-vaccine to register and express interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Once registered, a scheduler will contact them to schedule an appointment.
  • Veterans enrolled in VA health care can request an appointment by:
    • sending a Secure Message in My HealtheVet to COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS
    • calling 1-800-382-8387 and selecting option 8. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday.

Where can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine from VANCHCS?

1. By appointment. COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment at our vaccine clinics in Mather, Martinez, Auburn, Chico, Fairfield, Mare Island, McClellan, Oakland, Redding, Yreka and Yuba City.

2. Walk-In Vaccine Clinics. COVID-19 vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis, excluding federal holidays, at most VANCHCS sites. When attending a walk-in clinic, please keep in mind that walk-in visits will be accepted while supplies last. The best way to ensure supply is available during your visit is to schedule a vaccine appointment. Veterans, spouses and caregivers newly eligible under the SAVES LIVES Act can go to http://www.va.gov/covid-19-vaccine to register to be contacted for an appointment.

     Beginning 4/19

3. Community and Saturday Events. Veterans, spouses and caregivers can receive COVID-19 vaccines at one of the events listed below by appointment on: 

If I’m not enrolled in VA care or VA’s Caregiver’s Program, do I need to bring anything with me to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

No, just show up to any walk-in clinic or to your schedule vaccine appointments. Those who are not enrolled in VA will be asked to complete a “COVID-19 VACCINATION WORKSHEET.”


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