The VA says it has stepped up Coronavirus inoculations of its health care employees, as well as of veterans deemed to be at especially high risk, with a total of 132,000 in the former category and 14,000 in the latter as of Monday.
That’s up in one week from 50,000 and 5,000, respectively, over the first three weeks of availability of what is now two separate vaccines. Nearly 200 sites now have supplies of the vaccine, the VA said, with more continuing to be added as available doses increase.
The department has about 350,000 employees in its health care branch—out of a total of some 400,000—although there has been no accounting of how many of them fall into the highest priority categories for the available amounts of vaccine.
Meanwhile, the VA sites that received the initial doses of the first-approved vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, are beginning to administer the follow-up doses, which are to be 21 days after the first. Follow-up doses of the second, the Moderna vaccine, are to be made 28 days after the first.
Separately, a running count of covid-related employee deaths at the VA shows 95 as of December 29. The count recently hit 118 among the 750,000-civilian employee DoD, which also has a large health care workforce and which similarly has assigned top priority to them. DoD however has not reported on its numbers of inoculations nor the split between civilian and military personnel.
Other recent reports of employee death totals include CBP, 20; TSA, 13; and Bureau of Prisons, 3.