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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I received the notice below from the VA; Covid vaccines (Pfizer) are now available to veterans 62 and over. I called and scheduled my first shot for this Thursday. The VA person I spoke with said that they have a lot of doses. Even though I live in Oregon I scheduled my appointment for the Vancouver clinic due to easier access. Also the notice says the Vancouver clinic has more doses than Portland. You can sign up on-line, but I called the Vancouver clinic and scheduled it over the phone. Soon afterward I received an email confirmation. Here is the announcement:

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.​
header
Sign up Now for Your COVID Vaccination
Dear VA Portland Veteran:

(To stop receiving further COVID vaccination invitations, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.)

We are pleased to offer you the COVID vaccination!

We are using a new online reservation system that we hope will allow many more eligible Veterans to be scheduled without delay. We have expanded our online schedule, and now have appointment slots available on both the Portland and Vancouver campuses, February 24th through 26th.

If appointments are all taken when you are signing up...
  • Our Vancouver location has more appointments slots available, as well as easy parking.
  • Keep checking your email - we will be offering both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and will be sending out emails frequently with new appointment slots.

This service is available now BY INVITATION ONLY to select Veterans 62 years or older who are ENROLLED for care at VA Portland Health Care System. Do not forward this message to friends or family; if they sign up they will be turned away when they arrive.
Our schedulers are actively calling eligible Veterans by phone to make vaccination appointments. If you have not already received a phone call and scheduled your vaccination, we invite you to try the online reservation tool to sign up for your first shot.

A few other things to be aware of:​
  • VA Portland will have the Pfizer/BioNTechvaccine on this date, which requires two doses.
    • The second dose is due 21 days (+/- 4 days) after your first shot and will be scheduled when you arrive for your first vaccination appointment.
    • If you will not be available in 3 weeks, do not sign up now for your first dose. There will be other opportunities.
  • You should NOT sign up to be vaccinated if:
    • You have had a major allergic reaction to other vaccines or any ingredient of this vaccine, including polyethylene glycol (PEG)0 or polysorbate, or
    • You have received another immunization in the last 14 days.
  • The CDC DOES recommend vaccination for almost everyone else, including people who have had other types of allergic reactions (e.g., to food, pets, venom, latex, or oral medications). If you are immunocompromised or have an autoimmune condition, or you are pregnant, there is not much information to guide your decision. You should consider talking to your provider but can choose to be vaccinated.

On the day of your vaccination:
  • Do not come to the vaccine clinic if you have a fever, cough, or are otherwise feeling ill. Please cancel your appointment, and we will work with you to reschedule it.
  • Please arrive 5 minutes early to your appointment, not sooner. If you arrive earlier, please stay in your car until your appointment time. This will help us keep the clinic from becoming overcrowded.
  • You will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing during your vaccination visit. If a caregiver accompanies you, they should stay in the car during your visit unless you absolutely cannot manage without them.
  • You will be observed for at least 15 minutes after your vaccination to ensure you don't have a reaction to it. The risk of a serious reaction appears to be very low - approximately 1 in 100,000.

Thank you for your service!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Click here to reserve your vaccination appointment.
Instructions:​
  1. Choose the location you prefer (Portland or Vancouver).
  2. Ensure the date is highlighted on the calendar and select your preferred time. If you see no available appointments, this means all slots have already been taken.
  3. Enter your:
    1. FULL NAME
    2. Email address
    3. Phone number
    4. Age
    5. Last 4 of SSN

Please double check for typos, paying special attention to your email address.​
  1. You will receive an email confirmation. There is an option to cancel or reschedule on the confirmation email. You will not be able to cancel or reschedule after 12pm the day before your scheduled appointment.
  2. Do not reply to the confirmation email; it will not be monitored.


 

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Good for you.
 

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Thanks for sharing. When they get to 40 years and older let us know!

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I am still waiting for the TRUE completion of people over 75. What they are saying and what they are doing is 2 different things.
 

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None for me yet. The Covid will be gone by the time they get to me.
 

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Interesting happening from one coast to the next. My Navy buddy from 1971 lives in Bradenton, FL sent me this today. They have an income qualification for a free vaccination. I know there are income levels for being able to sign up for VA medical benefits, but this is a different deal. He was ****ed when he got turned away:

"VA income discrimination regarding covid vaccines? I heard through an email that the VA was scheduling covid 19 vaccines to veterans now, so I spent about 30 minutes filling out their long form (10-10EZ), grabbed my DD-214 form that proves that you are a vet, drove down to the VA clinic at 5520 Manatee Ave E, stood in a line waiting only to find out I was not eligible due to too much annual income! I said what's the difference? I said I'm a vet and I just proved it. I'm not asking for continued VA health care I just want to be scheduled for a covid vaccination! The manager said no and that I earned too much money. I was flabbergasted and in disbelief. She said I'm sorry just following the rules. Bottom line is that our VA discriminates based on income! I still can't believe it.

I don't intend to let sleeping dogs lie in this case. I'm ****ed. Even if I get a shot somewhere else I am going to contact the VA HQ and let them know what is happening here."
 

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This disabled vet is taking a hard pass. Ill wait a couple years to make sure this vaccine is legit. Plus ive got a 99% chance of recovering just fine.
 
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Interesting happening from one coast to the next. My Navy buddy from 1971 lives in Bradenton, FL sent me this today. They have an income qualification for a free vaccination. I know there are income levels for being able to sign up for VA medical benefits, but this is a different deal. He was ****ed when he got turned away:

"VA income discrimination regarding covid vaccines? I heard through an email that the VA was scheduling covid 19 vaccines to veterans now, so I spent about 30 minutes filling out their long form (10-10EZ), grabbed my DD-214 form that proves that you are a vet, drove down to the VA clinic at 5520 Manatee Ave E, stood in a line waiting only to find out I was not eligible due to too much annual income! I said what's the difference? I said I'm a vet and I just proved it. I'm not asking for continued VA health care I just want to be scheduled for a covid vaccination! The manager said no and that I earned too much money. I was flabbergasted and in disbelief. She said I'm sorry just following the rules. Bottom line is that our VA discriminates based on income! I still can't believe it.

I don't intend to let sleeping dogs lie in this case. I'm ****ed. Even if I get a shot somewhere else I am going to contact the VA HQ and let them know what is happening here."

Here is what I think is going on here. The VA provides medical coverage to certain qualified Veterans. The VA provides Medical care for those that earned a 20 year or more retirement, those that got MEDICALLY DISCHARGED from service (in most cases before the 20 year retirement was obtained) and to those who served and got out with less than a 20 year retirement, but suffer from ailments that were attributed to their service also receive some kind of coverage, even if they haven't attained the 20 year retirement. A few years back, the VA decided that financially challenged Veterans with less than 20 years were to be include in a sort of medical coverage....in which most have some payment obligation. There are instances where family members are also covered. It isn't that the OP was EXCLUDED from VA coverage, it's more like he was NEVER INCLUDED in the coverage that was offered to financially disadvantaged Veterans. I know....semantics..... I sorry to say that this is absolutely not new.


Pauli
 

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Here is what I think is going on here. The VA provides medical coverage to certain qualified Veterans. The VA provides Medical care for those that earned a 20 year or more retirement, those that got MEDICALLY DISCHARGED from service (in most cases before the 20 year retirement was obtained) and to those who served and got out with less than a 20 year retirement, but suffer from ailments that were attributed to their service also receive some kind of coverage, even if they haven't attained the 20 year retirement. A few years back, the VA decided that financially challenged Veterans with less than 20 years were to be include in a sort of medical coverage....in which most have some payment obligation. There are instances where family members are also covered. It isn't that the OP's friend was EXCLUDED from VA coverage, it's more like he was NEVER INCLUDED in the coverage that was offered to financially disadvantaged Veterans. I know....semantics..... I sorry to say that this is absolutely not new.


Pauli
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I would not be considered to be low income, and I do not believe that in Oregon or Washington that the VA has an income criteria, but as the announcement states, you do have to be enrolled in the Portland VA Health Care system. Any veteran can do that. When you enroll they give you a photo ID card that you can use to get a veteran's discount offered at many stores. It's worth signing up even if you don't use the VA for any health care.
 

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I would not be considered to be low income, and I do not believe that in Oregon or Washington that the VA has an income criteria, but as the announcement states, you do have to be enrolled in the Portland VA Health Care system. Any veteran can do that. When you enroll they give you a photo ID card that you can use to get a veteran's discount offered at many stores. It's worth signing up even if you don't use the VA for any health care.
Already enrolled is required for this vaccination program. But, in order to get into the system, there are requirements including being under an income cap. Being an honorably discharged vet isn't enough to get the coverage promised when we enlisted.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Already enrolled is required for this vaccination program. But, in order to get into the system, there are requirements including being under an income cap. Being an honorably discharged vet isn't enough to get the coverage promised when we enlisted.
Can you link to the source where you heard that to enroll in the VA health care system, you have to be in a low income category? If that's true, maybe I was able to enroll because I have a service connected disability rating?
 

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Since moving to the coast in November I have not had any appointments until my annual a couple weeks ago. I drove over to my primary in West Linn. I had checked in and answered all of the COVID questions. Doc and I had our conversation over the phone in different rooms. I was supposed to get labs done until I told her I've had a chronic cough for the last year. She immediately told me we were done with the appointment and that I needed to leave the building. Said she would schedule me for a COVID test within 3 days. I told her I didn't have COVID, didn't matter. VA scheduled me to get the test done at Seaside Providence Hospital yesterday after two weeks. I also got papers in the mail yesterday that Providence in Seaside is my new healthcare provider.

Currently awaiting my negative COVID test results.
 

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Can you link to the source where you heard that to enroll in the VA health care system, you have to be in a low income category? If that's true, maybe I was able to enroll because I have a service connected disability rating?
Service related disability is a winner. I applied for Vet's coverage ten years ago or something like that. Figured I could use it a a backup for Medicare but was denied. They do accept vets from certain time periods and areas served, but us VN vets that served in Europe are out of luck as an automatic. The only way I could get in was to have an income less than I do. Don't recall what it was and don't know what it is now, but it was a disqualifier if you weren't in one of the automatic acceptance groups.
 

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Since moving to the coast in November I have not had any appointments until my annual a couple weeks ago. I drove over to my primary in West Linn. I had checked in and answered all of the COVID questions. Doc and I had our conversation over the phone in different rooms. I was supposed to get labs done until I told her I've had a chronic cough for the last year. She immediately told me we were done with the appointment and that I needed to leave the building. Said she would schedule me for a COVID test within 3 days. I told her I didn't have COVID, didn't matter. VA scheduled me to get the test done at Seaside Providence Hospital yesterday after two weeks. I also got papers in the mail yesterday that Providence in Seaside is my new healthcare provider.

Currently awaiting my negative COVID test results.
I hate to be a pessimist but what if your "negative" COVID test turns out positive? Hope it's not. You get your results yet?
 

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I'm in the "Vietnam Era" cohort and use the Roseburg clinic. Over the years I've been registered in and used VA clinics in Az, Mt and Oregon. I don't think I've ever had to produce any income information. My buddy that used the VA health system and encouraged me to sign up with the VA years ago was very, very comfortable financially. That being said, not all vets get to use the VA but should look into it. There is one caution. I am pretty sure the powers in D.C. would like to shut down the VA system as it is today. They are pushing the "Veterans Choice" option. That allows certain qualified vets to use local medical services. The key is "certain". It's based on how far you live from a VA clinic. They used to use air miles. Now it's actual mileage. If you're interested, it's worth looking into. You do need to be patient with their system. I will also say this, conversations in their waiting rooms can be very interesting and there are no screaming kids. Another thing. If they send you to Portland VA for a procedure, they are terrific.
 

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It's true that eligibility for Vets medical changed a while back. Don't recall the date but I think in the early 2000s. Prior to that, prove you were a vet with a DD214 and you were in. Once in, you're in. Applying and getting accepted now is the rub. From the VA page, see the last line:

You may qualify for enhanced eligibility status (meaning you’ll be placed in a higher priority group, which makes you more likely to get benefits) if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Receive financial compensation (payments) from VA for a service-connected disability
  • Were discharged for a disability resulting from something that happened to you in the line of duty
  • Were discharged for a disability that got worse in the line of duty
  • Are a recently discharged combat Veteran
  • Get a VA pension
  • Are a former prisoner of war (POW)
  • Have received a Purple Heart
  • Have received a Medal of Honor
  • Get (or qualify for) Medicaid benefits
  • Served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • Served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998
  • Served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987
If none of the above apply to you, you may still qualify for care based on your income. Learn more about how the amount of money your family makes can affect whether you qualify for VA benefits.
Learn more about income limits
 
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