On December 11 of last year, the first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be administered to people 16 and older. One week later, on December 18, 2020, the FDA approved a second vaccine, this one manufactured by Moderna.
With U.S. coronavirus cases totalling 24 million at the time of this writing and the number of nationwide deaths from COVID-19 nearing 400,000, many people are anxious to know when it will be their turn to get the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that initial supplies be allocated to two primary groups: health care workers and long-term care residents. This affects veterans in two ways.
Based on CDC guidelines, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now offering vaccines to both VA health care personnel and veterans living in VA long-term care facilities. After that, they will begin administering the vaccine to those with a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to age, existing health problems, or other factors.
Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine through the VA?
According to the VA website, "When more vaccines become available, we plan to offer a free COVID-19 vaccine to all Veterans receiving VA health care who want one."
However, if you are a veteran but are not currently receiving health care through the VA, you will need to start the application process to ensure your place in line once the vaccines become more widely available. To provide proof that you are eligible to apply for VA health care benefits, you will need a copy of your DD214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
You should have received your DD214 on or shortly after your discharge day. If you didn't, or if you can't locate your copy for any reason, you will need to order a replacement before you can apply for benefits.
Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.
Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than you could get them on your own. First, we digitize both your request and the returned documents, using electronic signatures to avoid extra time with the postal service. We also integrate email and fax throughout our entire process, while many agencies do not.
To further expedite the process, our team ensures your initial request is filled out properly the first time and includes the necessary supporting documentation so that it doesn't bounce back. In addition, we break up multiple requests (DD214, OMPF, etc.) so that each piece is handled separately and one does not delay the other.
Once your request is processed, DD214Direct becomes your personal advocate, working directly with the agency that holds your records (currently there are about 75 independent agencies) and immediately responding to any agency issues on your behalf. In many cases, DD214Direct is able to advance your request to a higher-priority workflow. Finally, we have team members at many locations to drop off and pick up documents.
Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier. Once we locate your DD214, we can email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.
Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.