Boise VA opens up vaccinations to all veterans

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 18:28:37-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise VA is averaging 1,300 vaccinations a week and according to the VA they have vaccinated more than 60 percent of their veterans over the age of 65.

"When we first opened up vaccines to our veteran population we had one of the highest veteran vaccination populations in the country and that continues right now," said Lindsay Kaster, a Clinical Oncology Pharmacist at the Boise VA Medical Center.

This week, the VA announced that all veterans regardless of their age can go down to the VA to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Veterans can schedule an appointment for that same day or whenever they want by calling 208-422-1499

For veterans who don't get their healthcare through the VA, they can also get the shot for free, but first, they have to register at the Boise VA. Kaster told us that is about a five-minute process and veterans can either go to the enrollment center at the VA or they can call 1-877-222-8387.

The VA gets its vaccines directly from the CDC, meaning the VA gets its supply in a different manner than the rest of the state.

“Now that Johnson and Johnson got approved I think that kind of loosened up the supply chain," said Kaster. "You can get an appointment for same-day or whenever you want."

I tested this out because I'm a veteran, I made my appointment and had the choice of the Moderna or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. An hour later I received my shot.

Kaster tells us overall, veterans have been eager to get their vaccines, especially the older veterans.

“Veterans have been a lot more accepting than maybe we thought at first," said Kaster. "So we are really excited and really proud of our veteran population.”

The VA is also planning on putting together vaccination clinics outside of Boise, including one in Twin Falls on April 10 where they hope to vaccinate around 300 people.